Chinese medicine is all about balance. As practitioners, we try to help our patients maintain the balance of Qi, Yin, Yang, and Blood in order to maintain health or to recover from illness and injury. These four things need to be balanced in relationship to one another in order to keep the body in a state of equilibrium. A good example of this is the treatment of hot flashes in women entering menopause.
Hot flashes frequently occur in women when hormone levels fluctuate as we transition into the time where menstruation ends. According to Chinese Medicine, this is the manifestation of Yin energy starting to decline, which can lead to heat symptoms such as flushing, night sweats, hot flashes, and insomnia. Because Yin energy is cooling in nature, when it is depleted, Yang energy (which is warm in nature) isn't anchored which causes the body to show these types of heat signs. This is an example of the relationship between Yin and Yang which is at the very heart of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory.
Nourishing Yin With Herbal Medicine
While lifestyle choices and diet are essential for balancing Yin, herbal medicine is probably the best way to replenish Yin naturally and put an end to hot flashes. The classic formula Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, otherwise known as Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia, is one of the most frequently prescribed formulas to nourish Yin.
The main herb in this formula, rehmannia, also known as Chinese foxglove or shu di huang, is a flowering plant whose roots have many health benefits and have been used medicinally by China, Japan, and Korea for centuries. In addition to treating menopausal symptoms by nourishing Yin, rehmannia has been used to treat diabetes, fertility, lupus, disorders of the kidneys and adrenal glands, and many other conditions.
We use herbs in Chinese medicine a little differently than we do with Western herbs. With Chinese medicine, we combine multiple herbs in a formula as opposed to using a single herb to treat a condition. All of the herbs in a Chinese formula work together and are balanced to create the desired effect. In the case of Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, this formula contains herbs that tonify and nourish Yin as well as herbs which sedate heat or fire symptoms such as hot flashes. In this way we have a formula which is simultaneously treating the root cause of the symptoms (Yin deficiency) and the symptom itself (heat).
Using herbal medicine along side your acupuncture treatment is one of the best ways to regain health and balance. I love using herbs personally, and I'm lucky enough to have an herbal pharmacy at my disposal, so I am constantly using different formulas to treat myself for whatever is going on, or for general health and longevity. If you haven't tried herbal medicine and would like to do so, find a practitioner who prescribes herbs (most of us do), or book an appointment with us today!