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Getting Well with Oriental Medicine


It’s early Spring … the time of year you’re not really sure what to wear when you go outside. The sun is warming, but the temperature can still drop quite a bit leaving you chilly … and let’s face it, how often do you bring a jacket for ‘later’ after the sun drops down?

Early Spring is a time when our bodies haven’t yet rebuilt the energy/Chi we expended in Winter, making us susceptible to the colds and flus that are still going around. So what to do?

“I’m not getting sick, but my wife and daughter are. I haven’t gotten sick once this season and I attribute this to seeing Kitty regularly for acupuncture and taking herbs.” ~ Testimonial

When you start to feel ‘something coming on’ … usually it’s past the point where the scallion broth or ginger tea remedies will be most effective in helping you fight off a cold. These remedies work best when you take them as soon as you have an inkling of a ‘chill’ or ‘not feeling quite right.’ The more sensitive you are to how you feel, the better able you’ll be in stopping a cold or flu before it has time to take root.

Whenever you start to feel sick is a good time to recall where you’ve been, what you’ve been doing, and anything else that will help inform you about what might have enabled the illness to get in. This awareness can help you avoid getting sick the next time some pathogen is looking to set up shop inside of you.

Getting Well
Oriental Medicine has four basic components: acupuncture, Chinese medicinal herbs, diet, and Chi Kung exercise. When you’re sick Chinese medicinal herbs, minimal acupuncture and dietary suggestions are the primary way back to health; Chi Kung is added back into the treatment process once the pathogen has been dealt with by your immune system and your body is ready to rebuild its energy/Chi. 

IMPORTANT: Chinese medicinal herbs can help alleviate symptoms once the bug has taken hold, and help your body rebuild its strength to fight off the pathogen and regain its health. Keep in mind that while it’s tempting to try to buy Chinese herbal formulas over the internet, it’s not wise to do so because without a prescritpion from a qualified practitioner you could wind up with the wrong formula and make the illness worse.

Whether you use Chinese medicinal herbs or not, the best course of action once you’ve gotten a cold or flu is to rest-rest-rest. Just go to bed and stay there for a day or two. When our pets get sick, they know they need to conserve energy, so they rest in a warm spot and let their immune system fight the pathogen. That’s what we need to do too when we get sick.

“At BIOM, you help me become aware of my body, and what I need to do to maintain it and keep it healthy, and that’s not my experience elsewhere.” ~ Testimonial

Also, drink plenty of fluids. If you have an appetite, only eat things that are easily digestible— soups, oats, noodles, rice, grains, vegetables, chicken broth are easy on the digestive system;  pizza, burgers, ice cream and the like are NOT.

Take it easy: Don’t let your thoughts and emotions get the best of you. Ignore the voice in your head when you hear it say things like: “I don’t want people to think I’m lazy.” “I just have to get this done.” “Being sick is for weak people.”

Working with an Oriental Medicine Practitioner

If you want to work with an Oriental Medicine practitioner, what they will usually do is have you come in and perform a diagnosis to get a sense of your body’s overall health, taking into account your current illness, and then prescribe an appropriate herb formula.

The next step in the healing process is to keep in close contact to see how you’re progressing because colds and flu have the ability to change quickly. So the herb formula you start out with most likely will not be the one you end up with at the end of the illness.

Remember: “Health is the first wealth.” ~ Emerson

Related Links
Unique Chinese Medical Herbs
Cold and Flu Remedies
What People Say About Kitty Bradshaw at BIOM

Spring is Hay Fever Season

A recent ‘tweet’ we posted on BIOM’s Facebook page prompted a question that will be of interest to anyone who suffers from sinus and related Lung problems ... which can be particularly acute in Spring.

Tweet: Spring is hay fever season; sinusitis & related Lung problems can become entrenched by May if you don’t address your symptoms early.

Question: Any suggested natural remedies for those suffering from the kitchen or local vitamin / health food shop?

Answer: Kudzu root is very good for drying up the sinuses. Buy organic by Eden Foods and cook as a thick tea. Flavor with soy sauce or sweetener, according to your taste. We like umeboshi plum in ours.

Drink daily for best results.

Herbal Medicine: Everything Old Is New Again

“There is nothing new under the sun.” This Solomonic wisdom is resonating at Cleveland Clinic’s new Chinese herbal-therapy ward that “primarily sees patients with conditions that Western medicine has, for whatever reason, failed to remedy.”


At BIOM, it’s also our experience that quite often people try Oriental Medicine when they have not had success with conventional treatment. And helping with the hard stuff is a great way to show that what’s been growing under the sun for millennia is still useful today.

All the same, Chinese medicinal herbs being prescribed in the mainstream medical system is likely to raise many an eyebrow; especially when Cleveland Clinic’s medical director, Dr. Daniel Neides, MD said: “Western medicine may not have all the answers.”

The Yin-Yang of Treatment

It’s wonderful for the health of people that Oriental Medicine in its various modalities—herbs, acupuncture, diet & nutrition, chi kung—is gradually being absorbed into the wider society.

And just as the doctors running the Cleveland Clinic are prudent to provide MD-oversight of herbal prescriptions to prevent bad reactions that can result when some pharmaceutical drugs encounter certain herbs in the body (relative to each person’s unique health situation), it’s also important to note that the Cleveland Clinic’s herbal ward is run by a trained Oriental Medicine practitioner.

This is important for the same reason an Oriental Medicine herbalist is not certified to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs: lack of training; medical doctors are not trained to prescribe Chinese medicinal herbs.

Kitty Bradshaw customizing herbs formulas name=

To illustrate the point: consider that at Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine, the Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree program consists of 3,150 academic and clinical hours over three years.

Contrast that with the fact that there is no accredited training in Chinese medicinal herbs for medical doctors. And where medical doctors have been licensed to perform acupuncture, a leading certification program of medical acupuncture for physicians “is organized into … home study and video course viewing, live lectures and demonstrations, and clinical training consisting of 300 hours of formal instruction in medical acupuncture.”


Clearly, acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs, are specialized areas of expertise and the Cleveland Clinic is wise to recognize that in its integrative approach to health care

High Quality Chinese Medicinal Herbs


From an Oriental Medicine professional’s point of view, it’s very encouraging to see that Cleveland Clinic, like BIOM, is using the same high quality medical herb formulas from Kaiser Pharmaceutical.


What’s different though, while Cleveland Clinic uses compounding pharmacies in Massachusetts and California to create specialized custom herbal blends to address very specific health conditions, at BIOM, Kitty blends your customized herbal formulas while you rest on the table listening to music or quiet.

BIOM also uses top quality, pesticide-free, raw herbs—many of which are grown organically—from Spring Wind. Spring wind is run by Andy Ellis, a world renown expert of Chinese medicinal herbs.

Cultural Exchange Is Healthy

So, it’s a wonderful thing that Chinese medicinal herbs are gradually being integrated into the American cultural mainstream. The way was paved back in the 1970s when Nixon went to China and James Reston, a New York times reporter, found himself undergoing an emergency appendectomy in a Chinese hospital where acupuncture was used to ease his pain after surgery.

Which gets us to appreciating the cultural bridge that has been built, enabling more and more Americans to enjoy the benefits of both western and eastern medicine here, in our own hospitals.

With the key underlying benefit being: if you practice preventative methods, like Oriental Medicine, you significantly reduce the likelihood of winding up in a hospital at all.

Related Links

How Oriental Medicine Works When You’re Feeling Sick
Unique Chinese Medical Herbs

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IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.