The segment on last Sunday nights ( Feb. 9th 2019 ) 60 Minutes programme regarding the use of Over The Counter supplements and Chinese Medicine gives me an excellent opportunity to discuss the procedures involved in prescribing Chinese herbal Medicine to patients.
My Qualifications: As the holder of a Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine I am registered with AHPRA - the regulating agency for all Australian Health Practitioners - and overseen by the Chinese Medicine Board. I am specifically registered for Herbal Medicine dispensing.
In 2018 I completed a 3 year post graduate study of classical Chinese Medicine and as part of the AHPRA conditions need to complete professional education points each year.
I also belong to ATMS which is my professional association.
More About the Herbs. Herbs used by AHPRA registered practitioners are imported into Australia under the guidelines of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of wild Fauna and Flora ( CITES ).
The processing of the herbs themselves is stringent. Any herbs used in my practice adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice ( GMP ). The raw product has production certification from their place of origin and during the manufacturing process of the granulated product testing is rigorous. Ensuring stability of the product, purity and safety. Each batch finishes with a Certificate of Analysis.
The prescription process. The formulas are prescribed and dispensed as MEDICINE. They are prescribed to an individual patient based on a detailed case history and signs and symptoms presenting. It is NOT a one size fits all situation, that is the beauty of Chinese Medicine, it is individually tailored to you.
Care of Patient. Follow up appointments allow me to assess the efficacy of the formula I have prescribed. Sometimes a formula needs to be altered or changed completely and these visits allow this to happen.
It is not within the scope of our practice to suggest or recommend you discontinue any prescription medication you may be taking from your GP or other medical specialist.
A word on supplements. My suggestion would be to purchase vitamins and supplements from a practitioner preferably one who has done a case history on you. That way you know you are getting the correct supplement that is right for your particular requirements. These products can be expensive and by getting professional advice you can be sure your hard earned dollars are focussed in the right direction.
Take away points :
ALWAYS make sure your Herbalist is registered with the appropriate authority. In the case of Chinese Medicine - AHPRA.
Your herbal prescription is just that , a herbal medicine formula prescribed by a practitioner with specific education and training in that field.
If you are currently taking medication or under the care of a medical professional please do NOT stop taking your medication.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is a COMPLIMENTARY therapy and often the best approach is a combination of western and chinese medicine.