Cleveland hospitals begin to embrace Chinese herbal medicine

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: Chinese herbal medicine, Cleveland hospital, acupuncture

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(NaturalNews) The practice of Chinese herbal medicine is currently suppressed in the US, but this is changing as patients call out for alternatives. Herbal medicine is downplayed in America, not because it's ineffective, but because its principles are simply not taught to medical doctors. It's not studied; it's misunderstood. A typical allopathic doctor in America will receive virtually no training in herbal medicine during the decade that he or she spends in higher education. Consequently, mostly all medical doctors lack the basic understanding of how plant constituents heal the body through their unique energetic composition of nutrients and adaptogenic qualities.

Many doctors are afraid that an herb, vegetable, root or berry could interact with a patient's medication. This is a misleading mindset that paints natural health as the disrupter, when it's really the prescribed synthetic medication that is interacting negatively with the human body, causing side effects. To accept herbal medicine in America, a medical doctor practically has to deprogram their self, but breaking that pride is a hard feat.

Cleveland hospitals awakening to Chinese herbal medicine

Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, are now breaking down those walls and awakening to natural Chinese herbal medicine as an alternative to the disease management drugs-and-surgery approach to health.

Residents of Ohio once had to travel outside of the state to find alternative therapies. A change in state laws is opening the door for certified herbal therapists to begin practicing at places like the Chinese Herbal Therapy Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic. Operating as part of the Center for Integrative Medicine, the clinic can now provide patients with new options including acupuncture therapy combined with Chinese herbal therapy blends and traditional herbal formulas.

In 2014, the University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center will begin taking herbal medicine consultations. Newly hired acupuncturists will use a chart to monitor what patients are taking as they evaluate drug-herb interactions. The liver and kidneys of patients can be regularly monitored so that patients can see the benefits of the therapy. This will create a sense of transparency.

The Ahuja Medical Center is basically restoring freedom to the individual, since no referral from a physician is required. The hospital selects specific herbs from high-quality sources, including the Crane Herb Company in Massachusetts and the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Herbal lifestyle therapies can make most drugs and ailments obsolete

In Chinese herbal therapy, well studied leaves, roots, stems, barks, berries, flowers and seeds are combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, extracts, granules or powders.

When applied consistently, these herbal therapies will make most drugs become useless and unnecessary. Herbal therapies can be used to rid a patient of insomnia and anxiety. Painful and irregular menstrual cycles can be diverted altogether. Cold and flu can be halted in their tracks, destroyed in under 48 hours as the herbal therapies assist the immune system. This can prevent bronchitis and pneumonia from taking hold. The digestive system can be restored, too, including restoration of balanced gut flora. Women struggling with infertility can return to a state in which they can conceive. Sinusitis can be obliterated. High blood pressure can be returned to normal levels.

As an avid researcher of natural health, I've implemented herbal, nutrition-based therapies and watched my life and my family's transform for the better. Results are not instant, but they become lasting in time, a part of one's philosophy and life quality. The great thing about learning traditional herbal medicine: you can be your own doctor, ditch pharmaceutical drugs and find healing without spending a dime on medical care for health issues like sinusitis, infertility, cold and flu, digestive problems, heart problems, diabetes and insomnia, among others.

Chinese herbal medicine could help save America's waning health care system

In fact, if Chinese herbal medicine strategies were adopted nationwide, then medical care costs would fall drastically, lowering the cost of emergency medical care. Health insurance could be practically phased out if medical care was honest about natural healing.

One simple herbal combination of spices like turmeric, ginger and cinnamon could replace a cabinet full of drugs that target multiple problems. The natural approach treats the body as a whole, correcting the imbalances in the body.

For those who face multiple complex symptoms derived from the effects of prescription medication, they too can face relief through herbal therapies, as the body's natural state is restored. In this case, it's important for a professional naturopath to help one understand how a certain prescription might interact with a specific herb.

Specialists excited about the future of integrative care and herbal therapies

"Patients over the years have really been seeking out Chinese herbs and a lot of physicians had been contacting us asking if we used Chinese herbs," said Jamie Starkey, the lead acupuncturist at the Center for Integrative Medicine.

"Now we're able to offer a more well-rounded approach to care," Starkey said.

Being able to provide Chinese herbal therapy is "an incredible step for patient care," says Dr. Melissa Young, an internist and integrative medicine specialist at the Clinic.

"The beauty of it - it's so complementary."

Excited, Young said, "As an integrative medicine physician, to have more tools to benefit patients really optimizes patient care."

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