As a matter of fact I have quite a bit of personal interaction with the use of eastern philosophy and medicines and my husband used chinese herbal therapies for over twelve months to help resolve his life threatening IBS symptoms. We are very fortunate to have in our home town a Chinese Herbal Therapist who has followed previous generations into the practice of chinese medicine.
The true Chinese therapy requires frequent visits to the therapist to re-asess a patients response to the therapy and to adjust the "formula" or combination of herbs etc used in that individuals treatment. Shane visited Gordon every four days and would receive his "herbals" for the next four days. If you search through the archives, you will find very detailed explinations of Shane's treatment with Gordon, as well as the results.
Many of us are diagnosed with IBS as a matter of course once we have discovered that we are indeed suffering the effects of adhesions. I also received treatment from Gordon, specifically for adhesions, and he often referred to them as a type of "cancer", but eastern medicines view of cancer is quite different to western medicine (now this is my personal opinion, based on my observations of Shane's treatments and then my own.) Gordon recognised that my initial symptoms as a teenager should have been treated (endometriosis being the western name for this disease) and he said that surgery is a last resort in eastern medicine and to remove an organ creates a serious inbalance within the body (oh how true I can hear you all saying!). He told me that because my problem had been left untreated for so many years that he would be able to help me, but it would be a very long process because he couldn't give me "full strength" herbals as this would make me very ill, and possibly kill me, yes that is how seriously ill he felt I was (or should I say am....). After many discussions with him about my pending surgery (my ovaries were removed April 2001) was necessary to remove the adhesions, but he was very strong in his views that my ovaries should not be removed. It was disappointing to awake from surgery to find that my ovaries could not be saved, as they were by far too imbedded in scar tissue....
I also happen to have a brother-in-law (Shane's brother) who is a medical researcher & works with one of the leading specialists in IBS, he was able to provide me with some very interesting studies that have been done within the last decade looking at the effectiveness of eastern herbal therapy and ways to use a set "formula" to create a pill that an IBS patient could take daily to help control his/her IBS symptoms. There was a group who were treated as Shane was, visiting a herbalist every four days, another were given a shall we say generic formula of herbals, and I can't remember exactly what the third group used without referring back to those papers, but needless to say, the group that had the most effective and longest and greatest improvement to their condition was the group whose formula was made up specifically based on the syptoms they presented with at each visit.
In my own experience, my bladder is involved, I have adhesions covering my bladder causing pain and discomfort, frequent infections, incontinence and times where I need to self catherterise because my bladder spasms and cannot empty. The herbals reduced the pain, allowing me to increase my capacity to hold urine in the bladder for longer periods of time, which then allowed me to have improved sleeping conditions, because pain from my bladder filling didn't wake me at night.
No, I am not using herbal therapy at this time for several reasons, the first is cost, it is very expensive $50 every four days, I cannot describe the smell and taste of this herbal... LOL let's just say one does NOT aquire a "taste" for it, but simply gets a little better & not wanting to vomit at the thought of drinking the stuff. Really, you overcome that because your desire to be well and pain free is greater than the foulness of the taste and smell. If I could afford it, then yes, I would be knocking on Gordon's door today, so strong is my belief and confidence in his treatment.
Joanne, it is important to find a true herbalist who has many years of experience and who also has some knowledge of western medicines too. It can be dangerous to mix eastern & western medications, and you should ALWAYS inform all of your western doctors of any herbal treatments you are using. This is a very serious and life endangering thing to neglect, so please, if your doctor is unaware of your use of herbs, please let him/her know at your next consultation.
If you have any questions, let me know, I would be more than happy to answer them for you.
Love & gentle hugs