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F.A.Q.

What Are The Principles Of Holistic Medicine?
  1. First Do No Harm
    The methods and medication prescribed by the holistic practitioner should not cause harmful side effects nor weaken the body's ability to heal itself. When treatment is necessary, the most natural, non-toxic and least invasive therapy should be chosen.
  2. "Vis Medicatrix Naturae"
    ......meaning "the healing power of nature". All practitioners of natural & holistic medicine recognize the inherent self-healing ability of a person. The practitioner's role is to identify the obstacles to healing and to facilitate this inherent self-healing process.
  3. Identify & Treat the Root of the Problem
    The practitioner is trained to seek, identify and remove the root cause of illness, rather than merely suppressing the symptoms. Prevention of disease is emphasized - assessing risk factors and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness.
  4. Treat the Whole Person
    The practitioner treats each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Health is viewed as more than just the absence of disease. This is the true meaning of holistic health. Holistic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which the human race experience total wellbeing.
  5. Doctor As Teacher
    Health does not come from a doctor but rather from the patient's own effort to take care of him/her self. The health practitioner merely assists the patient towards health by teaching him/her to make the required changes (such as dietary and lifestyle changes). The expertise of the practitioner is important in choosing the most gentle but effective natural therapies to encourage the body to go into healing mode.
10 Questions About Herbal Medicine.
  1. Is herbal medicine a new therapy?
  2. How safe are herbs?
  3. Is herbal medicine scientific?
  4. What is the education level of a clinical herbalist?
  5. What forms do herbs come in?
  6. Why do clinical herbalists prefer liquid herbs?
  7. Are there any disadvantages of liquid herbs?
  8. Is herbal medicine covered by insurance?
  9. Is herbal medicine cost-effective?
  10. How soon will I respond to herbal medicine?
  1. Is herbal medicine a new therapy?
    No, it is not. Herbs have been used in healing since the earliest times and are still the basis for as many as 2/3 of the world's population. Modern herbal medicine is a combination of tradition and science. While research has offered a way to explain the actions of many herbs, the mechanism of action of the majority of healing plants has yet to be fully elucidated. Most herbs are simply used in a time-honoured fashion, the way our ancestors have done for thousands of years.  
  2. How safe are herbs?
    In the topic of herb safety, there will always be advocates and critics. Advocates will insist that herbs are totally safe whilst the critics will condemn them as dangerous. One of the biggest mistakes people can make is to assume that because herbs are natural, they are completely harmless. The fact is that herbs taken in medicinal amount contain pharmacologically active compounds that can alter physiological processes. That's the whole point of using herbs to treat diseases - to change the internal situation to encourage the body to go into healing mode. Dose for dose, most herbs are less potent than drugs. While this may sound like a disadvantage, it makes herbs safer to take. Reduced risk of side effects is a major reason why herbs have regained popularity.
  3. Is herbal medicine scientific?
    There has been a lot of interest in herbal medicine in the last two decades and many of the herbs listed in ancient records are still used in similar ways today by modern clinical herbalists. For example, Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga recemosa) was prescribed for menstrual disorders - a fact that science has verified in recent years. Modern herbal medicine now incorporates scientific advances that validate the efficacy and safety of many herbs.

     

     

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  4. What is the education level of a clinical herbalist?
    The type of academic training required by a clinical herbalist differs from one country to another. In Malaysia, the practice of herbal medicine has yet to be fully regulated by the government. However, the Ministry of Health is in collaboration with the Malaysian Society of Complementary Therapies to draw up guidelines for the regulation of this type of healthcare industry. Due to the recent scientific advances in herbal medicine, a strong background in biomedical science is usually a prerequisite for most students of herbal medicine intending to be a clinical herbalist. Thus, it is not unusual that the modern herbalist would also have have qualification in Medicine, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Nutrition or other related biomedical science. It is always a good idea to inquire about the level of qualification and training of the herbalist you intend to visit.
  5. What forms do herbs come in?
    Herbs can come in many forms - liquid, powder, finely-cut, tablet, capsule, lozenge, cream, ointment, inhalant etc. Of all these, herbs in their liquid form is considered the most therapeutically beneficial. This is the main reason why clinical herbalists around the world recommend this form the most. Herbs can be extracted in various liquid bases such as water, alcohol, glycerol and vinegar. The ones preferred by herbalists are a combination of water and alcohol. Unlike the other liquid bases, this medium mixture allows virtually all active constituents of a herb to be fully extracted when the process is carried out properly.
  6. Why do clinical herbalists prefer liquid herbs?
    Herbal liquid preparations confer many advantages. The main advantage is that the herbalist is able to easily tailor-make a unique formulation according to the individual needs of each patient. This is called extemporaneous dispensing. Another huge advantage of liquid herbs is that they are better absorbed and assimilated into the bloodstream. This means greater potency and quicker results. In addition, the manufacture of liquid herbs involves minimal processing - there are no chemical fillers, binders, colourants, preservatives, etc. Indeed, herbal liquid preparations truly reflect the chemistry of the herb in its most original form. Liquid herbs also offer considerable dose flexibility and many people find swallowing liquids easier compared to a handful of herbal tablets. Herbal liquids are ideal prescription for small children, senior people and adults alike.
  7. Are there any disadvantages of liquid herbs?
    The taste of liquid herbs can sometimes be a challenge to a minor percentage of people. However, most people will quickly grow accustomed to the taste of their herbal mixture. Some even grow to like it! People who are allergic to alcohol will not be able to take liquid herbs as these are usually alcoholic:water extracts. Also, some Muslims will not feel comfortable with the alcohol content in liquid herbs, albeit being prescribed for medicinal purpose. In this case, it is very much a personal choice. For this group of patients, the herbalist can prescribe herbs in tablet, capsule or dried form.
  8. Is herbal medicine covered by insurance?
    Unfortunately, no. In Malaysia, complementary and alternative (CAM) medicines have yet to be recognized as reimbursable under insurance coverage. It is likely that this scenario may change in the near future as the country begins to gradually recognize and incorporate alternative (CAM) therapies into conventional healthcare. In western countries like the USA and Canada, state legislatures have mandatory insurance reimbursement for naturopathic therapies.
     

     
  9. Is herbal medicine cost-effective?
    Yes. Two of the principles of herbal medicine are emphasis on preventative care and teaching the patient to take responsibility for his/her own health. This approach reduces the incidence of chronic conditions which in turn reduces both the immediate and long-term costs of healthcare.
  10. How soon will I respond to herbal medicine?
    This depends on the healing ability of the individual. Subtlety of action is the key to most herbal treatment. Herbal medicine works in harmony with the inherent healing force of the body. Effects come gradually but the results are often long lasting. Other factors also influence the rate of response, for example:
     
    "How long have you been suffering from the condition?"
    "Do you drink and/or smoke?"
    "Do you get regular exercise?"
    "Are you willing to make the necessary lifestyle and/or dietary changes to expedite the healing process?"
     
    The above and probably more, have a bearing on how quickly you respond to any form of therapy.
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