Recently, I participated in an intensive advanced clinical training in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine held at Longhua Hospital in Shanghai, China. Longhua hospital is one of the 4 oldest Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospitals in China and I had fully prepared myself to be immersed 24/7 in a world of herbs and TCM pattern differentiation. On the first day of rounds our entire group was shocked to learn that these renowned OMD’s were trained in both Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine and were practicing both modalities side by side.
If pharmaceutical medicine was considered most effective for the situation, then it was utilized as the lead in the treatment protocol with appropriate herbal formulas prescribed to address the imbalances that allowed the illness to take hold in the first place and/or mitigate any potential side effects.
If Traditional Herbal Medicine was the best course of action, then it took center stage no questions asked. Formulas were prescribed, prescriptions were filled and patients went away happy to have the best of both options.
The focus was simply “what is best for this patient.”
The Cardiology department was particularly inspiring. Western technology stood at the ready for heart patients arriving in distress, right along with herbal options. Immediately upon arrival, patients with irregular heart beats, palpitations or racing hearts were given an herbal solution via IV proven to regulate, nourish and calm the heart. At the same time, western medicine tests were utilized to help better narrow down causation factors. Teams that included both western trained Cardiologists and Traditional Medicine Cardiologists worked side by side, providing the best care for each and every patient.
The hospital was full of stories of patients whom had been turned away from other western hospitals, some had terrible side effects that were dismissed by other health care providers, while others were deemed too unstable and weak to withstand needed surgeries for pacemakers or transplants and loved ones had been told there was nothing more they could do. Somehow they would find their way to the TCM hospital and in just a few weeks time, with appropriate herbal therapy and western medicines these same patients saw amelioration of side effects and/or were stable enough to have life-saving surgery scheduled.
Each of the other specialties I had the chance to spend time observing and studying with presented similar experiences where the whole person was taken into account and western and eastern medicine worked together seamlessly. Health wasn’t just blood tests and MRI’s, positives and negatives, it was truly multi-dimensional. These OMD’s addressed pathogens and underlying weaknesses that allowed those pathogens to take hold. They talked about diet, they worked with women for months to prepare their systems to be ready to conceive, they prescribed herbs to use both internally and externally for trauma and pain right along with casts and crutches and surgeries as needed.
The experience was truly life-changing.
And certainly practice-changing.
In the coming days and weeks I’ll be sharing many of the experiences I had in China and how my practice is changing because of what I learned.
Most importantly,I’ll be working to help you understand how these types of collaborations can benefit you and your family’s health both now and in the future.
I’d love to hear more about you!
Please leave your comments and suggestions below.