What is a Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner?
We’ve all walked past those shops in Chinatown, no matter which city you’re living in: they’re portrayed in movies as dimly-lit, with walls of old wooden drawers and archaic bottles. A Chinese man of indeterminate age sits on an old stool and when you tell him your ailments, he crushes, mixes and blends potions and powders with a wisdom passed down from centuries long gone. Some of this may be true, but today’s Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner might just as well work from a modern store with bright lighting and laminate shelves; their knowledge and treatments, though, remain the same.
The Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner can treat many illnesses:
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Concerns with the gynaecological organs
- Skin diseases
- Chronic fatigue and pain disorders
- Rheumatic conditions
- Sleep disorders
These days, Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioners must be registered and that goes some way to validating their treatments. From July 1st, 2012, all practitioners are to be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia before they are allowed to practice. There are three divisions – Chinese herbal dispensing, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. Chinese Herbal Medicine is part of a larger system of healing in Chinese tradition called Traditional Chinese Medicine. The herbs used can have powerful effects on the body and need to be treated the same way as Western medications.
The Chinese believe that Qi, or energy, runs through our bodies along invisible channels called meridians, and the disruption of this Qi is the cause of many ailments. The herbs prescribed aim to restore this Qi, by realigning the balance between the two opposing forces of Qi: Yin and Yang. These energies can become out of balance for many reasons, such as pollution, poor diet, stress, infection or emotional disturbances. Whether you believe in Yin, Yang, Qi or meridians can be quite irrelevant – the Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner has it right when it comes to what herbs can rectify what ailments.