Many patients are already experiencing taxation by the time they seek treatment. This means the yang fire of the body is already weak, and the body is struggling to keep up.
Ultimately, Chinese herbal medicine seeks to restore the yang, the fire that powers the function of our body, as one of the core principals of the treatment strategy.
One way your body can communicate with your practitioner directly is by pulse diagnosis.
Using a complex and systematic approach that relates directly to the Han Dynasty texts of Classical Chinese medicine, a practitioner feels the changes on the wrist pulse. The different shapes and changes of the radial artery reflect a snapshot of your body like a moment in time.
The pulse is seen as the most accurate reflection of the effects of illness, and the state of your bodies yang, organs and functional systems. The pulse reflects everything that has affected your body at that moment – food, medication you’ve taken, stress, impact of the environment and your genetic makeup (constitution).
Abdominal diagnosis is often used, in a similar way to pulse diagnosis, areas on the abdomen correspond to areas and systems in your body. Your practitioner is looking for areas that are cool or warm, dry or clammy, tight or loose and areas that are sore can indicate different things and help get to the right diagnosis. Abdominal palpation is generally very gentle.
At your initial appointment, there is plenty of time to discuss the health problems that are bothering you. Marie will ask you a few questions about symptoms that are relevant to the main health problem you are seeking treatment for. With classical Chinese medicine, the main diagnostic information comes from the pulse so we don’t need to spend as much time talking as in “TCM” (Traditional Chinese medicine).
Marie is happy to explain the diagnosis and treatment approach, and answer any questions you may have.
Once the Chinese medicine diagnosis has been made and explained to you, Marie will discuss with you a treatment plan so you have an idea of what to expect.
Marie understands you need to budget your time and money. Every patient is different, Marie will work out the best possible treatment plan within your means.
Treatment methods used include herbs, acupuncture, moxibustion and cupping. Marie’s classical approach generally uses very specific treatments based on the diagnosis.
Warming the yang through moxibustion or Moxa is a treatment method used by Acupuncturists. This is one big difference between Acupuncture and “dry needling”. Moxa is used in some cases where the pulse diagnosis and symptoms indicate its use.
Rather than a broad spectrum approach to acupuncture, which may seem like a lot is happening to you in the treatment, Classical approaches are very specific. Specific messages are given, one at a time, making Classical Chinese medicine a layered and systematic approach.
Herbal formulas are precisely made based upon your pulse diagnosis, which changes as your body is ready for the next phase of treatment.
Herbs are mostly palatable formulas. Marie can prescribe and dispense herbs in different ways, commonly we use concentrated granules so you don’t need to do boiling up at home. About 80% of Marie’s patients take herbs easily.
While it’s common for patients with many long term health problems to need to allow least six months taking Chinese herbs for decent changes to be seen, for recent health problems its normal to only need to take herbs for much shorter periods of time, some formulas for cold and flu, for instance, would only be taken for a week.
Marie is an experienced Chinese Medicine practitioner both a herbalist and acupuncturist. Initially studying in Perth, Marie went on to study at Hangzhou TCM Hospital and then completing a Masters of International Health at Curtin Uni. In recent years Marie has been studying Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine, taught by Arnaud Versluys through ICEAM.
Marie is also a lecturer in Chinese Medicine and social science and clinic supervisor, currently at Endeavour College of Natural Health in Perth.
In addition to Classical herbal medicine, Marie has a special interest in Chinese Diet Therapy- the branch of Chinese medicine concerned with prevention and treatment of symptoms with food.
This takes a few minutes each side, common responses by patients experiencing pulse diagnosis for the first time is that it seems like a long time to take the pulse.
In Chinese Medicine there are around 28 different kinds of pulses – these are different shapes, speed, length and depth. There are also 3 different positions on each wrists, 3 different depths as well as different organs represented on each wrist – so it’s much more complicated than simply counting the number of beats per minute. It takes years of attention to study and practice to become skilled enough to ascertain the right information.
Patients usually come in with a problem they want treated. This can be a symptom or a biomedically diagnosed health condition / disease. There are some conditions that Chinese medicine can help with very well and others where certain aspects of the condition are able to be treated. Marie will discuss the options with you, and how Chinese medicine may help you given your individual circumstances.
Some patients see Marie for prevention and health promotion. It’s ok if your symptoms are only minor or you are seeking health promotion with herbs and acupuncture, your pulse diagnosis will be enough to work out the best formula to promote yang and function.
These can often seen unrelated, but in Chinese medicine’s wholistic view, there are many systems that have an inter-related aspect in your body. You should feel free to tell your practitioner about all your symptoms, no matter how minor or insignificant they may seem to you.
After Marie has worked out your diagnosis and discussed the treatment plan with you, there may be some relevant diet and lifestyle advice to assist your recovery and ongoing health.
Marie aims to make your acupuncture a pleasant, relaxing experience.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile single-use needles into specific sites (acu-points). During the treatment you should feel a sensation such as tingling, numbness, dull ache or heaviness in the area or traveling around your body. Many people experience a an acupuncture high after treatment. This is typically a pleasant, deeply relaxed, light headed or floating sensation. We encourage you to tell your practitioner how you feel during treatment, so to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Registered Acupuncturists follow strict hygiene principals and only use single-use sterile needles.
While your lying down with your acupuncture treatment (or while you wait) Marie will review your case and formulate your individual herbal prescription. Each formula is written specifically for each patient. Marie only uses Classical herbal formulas following the ICEAM Lineage style of herbal medicine.
Chinese herbal medicine comes in many forms. Marie’s practice usually is dispensed in the form of concentrated granule herbs, sometimes hand-made (In Australia) Pills and powders of raw herbs are dispensed.
The format we make up your herbs are to maximise the efficacy and potency, and to make sure its workable into your lifestyle to take the herbs as you need to.
Granules and powdered herbs are pretty easy to take, and often only require some hot water to be mixed into the powder, so you can take them to work with you or on your travels etc.
Marie will discuss the herbs and how to take them during your consultation time, before we make up your formula you will be fully informed how to take them.
Please allow one hour for an initial appointment including Acupuncture treatment. The consultation usually takes about 30 minutes, and the treatment also about 30 minutes. Repeat patients please allow 45 minutes to one hour. Usually more time for treating and less time for talking is part of regular appointments.
Chinese Medicine looks at how the seasons change the needs of our body to stay healthy.
Learn more about Chinese Medicine by downloading your Free Self-Help Toolkit
and start your journey of self discovery through Chinese Medicine today.