What can I expect in a consultation?
During the first consultation a thorough case history of the presenting complaint and general health is taken. This is because herbal practitioners recognise that seemingly unrelated symptoms in the body might have to be addressed in order to treat the problem at hand due to the interconnectedness of the bodily systems.
This is usually followed by blood pressure, pulse taking and other diagnostic examinations relevant to the case. Initial consultations usually last 1 hour 30 minutes, follow - ups 45 minutes. Initial follow up appointments are, depending on the nature and severity of the problem, 2 to 4 weeks after the initial consultation. Subsequent visits are usually at monthly intervals.
Herbal prescription are made up for each individual patient at the premises. Herbs are prescribed as tees, tinctures, aromatic waters, creams, lotions and baths.
What do herbalists treat?
Herbal practitioners are consulted for a wide range of both chronic and acute conditions. However, commonly patients consult a herbalist when they just don't feel right and do not display a full range of disease symtpoms, or they have simply exhausted other more conventional options.
Rather than treating symptomatically, herbal practitioners treat patients based on a comprehensive case history which aims ot take all aspects of health into consideration. Treatments are therefore highly individual and rarely will two patients with the same presenting complaint leave with the same prescription.
What qualifications do Herbalists have?
Most herbal practitioners trained in the UK have undergone a thorough, three to four year university course, which also covers pathology, physiology and physical examinations. Thorough training is considered important for the practitioner to be able to identify cases where a patient would benefit from being referred on to a specialist.
What is expected of the patient?
The cooperation of the patient is important in herbal medicine, and the patient is encouraged to take an active part in their healing. Often dietary and lifestyle changes are part of the healing process and are discussed in detail by the herbalist.