What is heart disease?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) views the Heart as the emperor of China. It is a commanding organ that rules the entire kingdom (body) and it is vital to avoid chaos in function. The Heart based on TCM principles commands the flow of Blood, something that nourishes the whole body. The Heart is the portal of all emotions in the body. Heart dis-ease appears as a blockage in the flow of Blood or vital life force called Qi. This can take on many forms in conventional medicine like High blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, plaque blockage in the blood vessels, or weakening of the organ itself.
Does traditional Chinese medicine offer an alternative to high blood pressure medication?
High blood pressure in conventional medicine is usually treated with drugs that compensate for the bodies loss of normal function instead of treating the underlying cause. Obviously, the blood pressure will increase if there is any blockage to its flow. TCM attempts to discover if the blockage emanates from the Liver, Kidney, Spleen, Lung, or the Heart itself. High blood pressure is viewed as only a symptoms in the body, not as a disease. Often, simple solutions to reducing blood pressure are evidenced in dietary or lifestyle modifications.
Do I have to use traditional Chinese medicine forever for heart problems?
Chinese medicine is used to physiologically enhance the function of the Heart and not attempt to control or compensate for its function long term. It was not designed to be used long-term as drugs were. Unfortunately, when the body loses control of its ability to recover because drugs have been used for years, the Heart weakens and becomes dependent on drugs to function. The sooner that natural medicine intervention is used either with conventional drugs to reduce their side effects or alone to support Heart function, the better the prognosis for recovery.
Will traditional Chinese medicine interfere with blood thinning medication?
Often, Chinese medicine is used to support the bodies Heart function along with conventional drugs or as stand-alone therapy. There are many instances whereby herbal medicine has demonstrated a reduction in the drug’s side effects, provides synergistic assistance in preventing bleeding episodes, or eliminates the risk of the drug’s adverse reactions. There are a few herbs though that may increase or decrease the ability of drugs to prevent blood clots. An experienced physician trained in the use of Chinese herbal medicine should always be consulted to discuss the potential risks and benefits of using herbal medicine and drugs together.