Rob Mills, L.Ac. & Emden Griffin, L.Ac. of Bend Community Acupuncture, LLC have been providing affordable and effective acupuncture to the community for over 13 years! And did you know that we offer herbal medicine as well? We utilize the finest patent and custom formulas available from trusted companies like Mayway, Blue Poppy, Golden Cabinet, Dr. Dave’s and many more. All of the herbs we use are rigorously tested to ensure potency and purity. Give us a call today and find out how we can help you feel better!
The best way to understand the difference between the modalities of acupuncture and herbal medicine is to focus on how each one influences or balances Qi.
Acupuncture works in the same way that a teacher or coach works; it provides instructions and cues as to how Qi should change, but it does not do the work directly. Instead, the body balances itself based on the instructions or encouragement that it is given. And just like working with a good teacher or coach, one becomes more familiar with how change is supposed to happen and more capable of creating change over time.
Herbs, on the other hand, have a direct influence on physiology and actually do something to create a change. That change lasts as long as the herbal remedy is in one’s system. Over time, changes can become more lasting.
Acupuncture by itself can do many of the same things that herbal medicine can do. It often has to be received several times a week to make this kind of impact. This can make it cost prohibitive for many people. In comparison, herbal medicine can often influence change on a daily basis and can be more cost effective. Greater results can be seen if both are done concurrently for at least the first couple of weeks of treatment.
If treatment is not appropriate, acupuncture has very few if any lasting side effects. Where as herbal medicine can have side effects that are more pronounced and longer lasting. Both modalities are very safe when compared to pharmaceuticals.
A good practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine can guide you to an appropriate course of treatment.
As mentioned in our last post, acupuncture and herbal medicine are two of the most prominent and effective modalities used in Chinese medicine. In this post we will present some background to lay the foundation for understanding the difference between the two clinically. What started as a two part post will now expand to three.
In the countries where Chinese medicine theory and practice have evolved and been advanced over millennia, places like China and Japan; the practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine are often practiced separately. A practitioner who does acupuncture would not use herbs and vice versa. In today’s world there are separate schools, tests and licensure for each modality because it is recognized that each one is a specialty unto itself. From a scholarly perspective, each is seen as a “life’s work” to master. So the idea that an individual practitioner can (or should) be proficient at both is an idea conjured up by western schools of Chinese medicine to possibly enroll more students.
With that said, it is possible for a diligent student of these two modalities to practice both and achieve good clinical results. Especially in the modern world where most disease patterns seen in the clinic are due to the same handful of causes: overwork, stress, improper eating and lifestyle habits, and lack of exercise. If a practitioner can become proficient at treating a half dozen different patterns then good results can be obtained.
Next time we will explain how acupuncture and herbs differ in how they balance Qi and when each is appropriate in treatment.