During the first consultation at one of my practices in Cornwall, or on the phone/Skype, I will take a detailed case history. As well as wanting to know all the details related to the reason you have come to see me, I will need to take lots of background information, including the following:
Any medication you are taking
Past health problems
Past and present health of your family, including parents, siblings and grandparents
Diet and lifestyle
I’ll also ask questions about specific body systems. For example, your digestive system and bowel function; cardiovascular and nervous systems including questions such as do you ever feel short of breath, have palpitations, high blood pressure, get unusually cold fingers and toes; reproductive system including, if you are a woman, detailed information about your menstrual cycle; your skin, sleep pattern, mood and emotional state.
If you attend one of my clinics, I will probably take your blood pressure and examine your skin, tongue and eyes. I may want to listen to your heart and breathing using a stethoscope, manipulate your joints, palpate your abdomen… I am fully trained and qualified in these diagnostic techniques.
At the end of the consultation I will discuss with you how I feel I can help, and answer any questions you might have. I usually see patients again two weeks after the first appointment, and then on a monthly basis, but this varies according to the person and nature of the problem.
In between consultations I am available, via email and telephone, for support and advice.
I use plants mainly as concentrated liquid extracts. Sometimes I recommend dried herbs, which are used to make an infusion, or tea. I make up my own creams, ointments and pessaries for external use.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
I also provide dietary and lifestyle advice, which is the bedrock of good health. If you are not eating well, exercising regularly to the best of your ability, managing stress in your life, and paying attention to rest and relaxation, it will impair the efficacy of herbal medicine. You need to support your body on every level to maximise its healing potential.
The Greek physician Hippocrates (460BC) believed that environmental influences play an essential part in good health and wellbeing, along with natural remedies. Through my own experience working with people with health issues, there is no doubt that diet and lifestyle work in tandem with herbal medicine.
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