Dr. Danielle Baert treats with both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. She creates customized herbal formulas for each patient, which allows her to treat many symptoms at the same time and to ensure the medicine is tailored individually to your exact needs. The formula is modified regularly as your symptoms improve.
It is important not to confuse Chinese medicine with Western herbalism because Chinese medicine is much more developed and highly systematized. A Chinese herbal formula typically consists of between 4 to 15 ingredients. This is very different than taking one ingredient at a time as is commonly done in Western herbalism, for example, valerian root. By combining ingredients, many symptoms can be treated at the same time and side effects can be avoided.
Chinese medicine formulas can also target the prescription to a specific region of your body. If you have arthritis in your knees, an ingredient that will carry the effect of the formula directly to the knees is included. Chinese medicine is that specific.
Any herbal formula that can be bought over-the-counter at a health food store is a general formula that is not specifically tailored to your particular body. Many people buy these products hoping to treat their symptoms, but they can end up experiencing new symptoms, either because the product contains ingredients that are not correct for them, or they don’t know when to stop taking it. These products are often quite expensive. You can save money and get a better result by having a professional Chinese herbalist determine what you need.
No. Chinese herbal medicine traditionally came in a paper bag full of bark and twigs that you would have to boil for a couple of hours, and it had a strong odour which would stink up the entire house. Modern Chinese herbal medicine now comes in powdered form which is quick to prepare and much more convenient for busy people to take.
If you are afraid of needles, in many cases you can still come for treatment because you can take Chinese herbal medicine without getting acupuncture. Ask Dr. Baert whether this approach might be effective for your condition.