Traditional Western medicine has a new partner when it comes to healing.
Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years, and recently one local woman learned that combining it with Western medicine helped her become pain free.
It took an open mind and faith to get mother of three, Wendy Small, to be one of the first to jump on the bandwagon and try the Chinese herbs. But having mono just a year before her symptoms of light-headedness, weakness and pain began, doctors originally thought the Epstein-Barr Virus was to blame.
"My husband would have to massage my legs so I could fall asleep because I was in so much pain," she said.
But Small had something completely different than what the doctors suspected, and the pain she was experiencing was going to be difficult to treat.
"I felt lost before, a little hopeless, a little stuck," she said.
Feeling she needed much more than just regular doctor appointments and follow-up visits, she ventured into trying something more natural as a potential solution. Small found an expert in blending Eastern and Western medicines whom suggested trying a very unique combination.
"The patients who either aren't getting the benefit from their conventional care, or patients with multiple symptoms or multiple diagnoses, Chinese medicine looks at that patient differently and is able to create a treatment plan that is very effective for them," said Dr. Melissa Young of the Cleveland Clinic.
In addition, Chinese herbs are safe to use with other medications and tend to be more gentle on the body, as well. They are also individualized according to each patient's needs and treatment plan. Small's plan requires acupuncture, dietary supplements and a blend of herbs to target digestion, fatigue and circulation.
"After a week being on the first dose of herbs, the leg pain was completely gone and it was faster than she had even thought it would happen," said Small. "I think I'm a rare case as far as one week, but I was just blown away."
However, trying these Chinese herbs takes more than just finding what combination works well for you. To ensure healthy results, it is recommended that you seek out a board-certified herbalist and be under the care of a physician before starting your suggested treatment plan.