Have you ever been sucked into buying a really neat, nifty, and new supplement or herb because of its benefit claims?
Improved energy levels, performance and vitality? Add to cart.
Better stress tolerance? It’ll take three, please.
Increased overall happiness and decreased sadness, AND SUPERPOWERS? Take my money!
I know, I know, the promise of superpowers is REALLY tempting. It’s common to read the effects of certain herbs and supplements and want to take them for their advertised benefits, however without proper diagnosis and context of your lovely, individual self, you could be just creating expensive urine, or causing more harm than good.
While there are some supplements that are definitely great for many conditions based on where we live (Vitamin D for Albertans during the Winter), or boosting your immune system during cold and flu season (Cordyceps); we have to be wary of HOW these supplements are working and WHY we are taking them, especially when treating specific symptoms or conditions.
Understanding the mechanism of action for herbs and supplements is essential when choosing what you are going to be taking. For example, some herbs stop bleeding by creating a clot, while others stop bleeding by treating an underlying weakness elsewhere in the body.
The second, but definitely most important part of choosing the right herb or supplement, is understanding YOUR INDIVIDUAL BODY CONSTITUTION AND PATTERN. This means knowing what your individual body and condition need, because we’re all different!
Where is your body deficient or needing help, specific to you?
For example, one person’s immune system might be low from stress or environmental factors, where another person’s immune system could be weak because of poor absorption of nutrients in their intestines. It might even be a combination of the two!
Both of these people may be looking to boost their immune systems, but they should approach it differently with their herbal and supplement choices!
This is where your TCM practitioner comes in!
*Insert cheesy superhero music*
TCM practitioners and acupuncturists are trained to view the body holistically, not just treating the symptoms. This means they find the root of the problem, and create a treatment plan for your individual needs.
Another set of powerful tools that many TCM practitioners have in their arsenal are patent formulas, supplements and Chinese herbal formulas. These not only work with your TCM diagnosis and pattern, but they are also customizable in our herbal apothecary, which is opening this Spring!
Your TCM practitioner or acupuncturist can also tailor supplement, diet and lifestyle recommendations based on your specific constitution. They can even help review your current supplements, and let you know what is good to continue taking, and what isn’t necessary for your goals and health needs.
So next time you are reaching for the next vitality boosting, super-power generating, super duper elixir, be sure to seek out professional assistance. Otherwise you might just be making some expensive pee!
Want to know more about our apothecary, supplements and herbs? Have questions about your own herbal needs? Contact Us!