Canterbury Acupuncture

Chinese herbal medicine is part of an ancient system of healing – known as traditional Chinese medicine – which has been practised in the East for thousands of years. The earliest surviving texts date back to the 3rd Century BC, making it the oldest continuous recorded medical system in the world, and one which has been developed and refined over the centuries, with proven effectiveness in maintaining health and treating illness.

In the West, acupuncture is the best known and most widely used form of traditional Chinese medicine. In the East, however, it is herbal medicine which forms the mainstay of traditional treatment, retaining a strong presence in health provision in modern China where it is practised alongside western medicine in hospitals throughout the country in the treatment of a wide range of conditions.

More recently, CHM has become increasingly popular in the West and its use has expanded rapidly in the UK since the 1980s. It can be used alongside conventional medicine and/or in support of other complimentary therapies.

Most Chinese medicinal herbs have been in common use for centuries, during which time safe dosage ranges and preparation methods have been carefully developed and specified. Thanks to this background, CHM, when practised properly, has a very impressive safety record and one which compares very favourably with western pharmaceutical drugs.

However, ‘natural’ does not in itself mean safe, so it is essential that your practitioner is properly trained and registered. Ease of communication is also very important. Your practitioner should provide you with written instructions about how and when to take the herbs, and a contact number to call should you have any questions about the herbs or the treatment.

As a member of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM), I am covered by professional insurance and comply with UK laws which have banned the use of certain toxic herbal ingredients and those from endangered species. As I see it, herb quality is of paramount importance for both the safety and efficacy of herbal treatment, so I go to great lengths to seek out and source the best quality herbs available.

CHM is very effective in treating a wide range of conditions and disorders, both acute and chronic. The following conditions are commonly treated:

  • Skin disease, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea;
  • Respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, chronic coughs, sinusitis, and allergic and perennial rhinitis;
  • Digestive complaints, including irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, ulcerative colitis;
  • Gynaecological problems, including pre-menstrual syndrome, painful periods, menopausal syndromes, endometriosis and infertility;
  • Urinary conditions, including chronic cystitis;
  • Rheumatological conditions, including osteo-and rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Headaches and migraine;
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome;
  • Anxiety and depression;
  • Hepatitis and HIV: some promising results have been obtained for Hepatitis C, and supportive treatment may be beneficial for HIV;
  • Metabolic disorders, including diabetes and thyroid conditions may benefit from supportive treatment.

There is also much interest in the contribution which Chinese herbal medicine can make in the management of cancer.

Skin disease can be highly debilitating with symptoms such as itching, sleep disturbance and pain causing considerable upset to the sufferer’s life. It can also cause tremendous social embarrassment and real emotional distress and very often these aspects outweigh the actual physical discomfort.

Chinese Medicine can be remarkably effective in the treatment of skin diseases including:

  • Chronic conditions such as eczema (atopic, nummular, stasis, pompholyx), acne, rosacea, psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, urticaria, vitiligo and lichen simplex.
  • Acute outbreaks of impetigo, herpes zoster (shingles) and herpes simplex.

The treatment of skin disease is one of the areas in which I have a particular interest and I spent part of my post-graduate training in the Dermatology Out Patients Department of the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine observing Dr Huang Ying, Dr Tang Ding-Shu and Professor Zhong Yie Zi

IMAGE – DR ZHONG’s clinic
Dr Zhong with Dr Huang on his right in clinic. His reputation as a dermatologist is such that everyone in the room apart from my interpreter and the patient whose pulse he is taking is either a dermatologist trained by him or a post-graduate student under his supervision.

In the UK, I have recently completed further specialist study in this area with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Practical Dermatology – an intensive 11-day course given by Mazin Al-Khafaji, a highly respected Doctor of Chinese Medicine who specialises in the treatment of dermatological and auto-immune conditions. This excellent and highly demanding course covered the diagnosis, pattern differentiation and treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine of 17 of the most commonly seen skin diseases and concluded with a gruelling 5 hours of examinations. Good old-fashioned education - that's fine by me!

Where we practice

We practice in Canterbury and Whitstable

More info