*May 2020: due to the current lockdown I am conducting all first consultations via Zoom. There will be some situations where this might not be appropriate but I will ascertain that before we go ahead.*
When you first contact me, I’ll want to have a five-minute chat on the phone/email to you to see if I feel herbal medicine can help you, and for you to ask any questions you might have. Please make sure you’re somewhere private where you don’t mind discussing medical issues. If both of us agree to make an appointment, this will be at Primrose Natural Foods and Juice Bar in Chelmsford or Nature's Table health food shop in Billericay
Your first appointment will be an hour in length. We start with talking about the issue you have come in with. Then, in order to build up a full picture of your health, I’ll ask you about your past medical history and then we’ll discuss each of your different body systems (e.g. digestive system, circulation, skin, joints etc) so I can see if anything else relevant is happening to you. For safety’s sake, I will need you to bring a list of any medication you take regularly (your prescription repeat slip is fine) and any supplements – vitamins, herbal remedies and so on. If you've had a blood test for any reason within the last six months, please bring the results along if you have them (your GP surgery can often print these for you). Once we’ve finished taking your case history, I will take your blood pressure and pulse rate, and carry out any physical examinations I feel are necessary. Please wear modest underwear that you are comfortable in. When this is finished we’ll discuss the best course of action and you can ask about anything you’re not sure of. It goes without saying that anything you tell me is in strict confidence and all patient notes are kept locked away securely.
Your prescription typically will consist of a bespoke herbal tincture mix of five or six herbs which I feel are most suitable for you. Sometimes I may give you a herbal tea mix or a cream/oil if I think that’s relevant. After the consultation I will go away and give this some thought, carry out any research I feel is necessary and then make up your prescription, which I will take payment for at the time of the consultation. (This will be ready for you to collect from my practice within 2-3 days – I will text/email you when it is ready. I can also post prescriptions out).
After the initial consultation we'll make an appointment for two weeks' time for a free 15 minute "catch up" session to see how you're getting on with the herbal medicine and discuss any concerns you may have. If all is going well then I'll give you enough medicine to see you through for 4-6 weeks until your follow up appointment (payment for medicine to be taken at the time of the consultation).
As we don’t need to go into so much detail as the first consultation, the follow up appointment lasts up to 30 minutes. We’ll discuss the issues you brought up previously and anything new that may have come up since we last met. I may carry out a physical examination again if I feel it’s relevant. After the first follow-up appointment, I’d like to see you every 4-6 weeks depending on the individual case to monitor your progress. I may “tweak” your prescription a little by changing a herb or two here or there if I feel it would be more successful. Between appointments, if there is anything you need to discuss you are more than welcome to drop me an email.
How many appointments might you need? Annoyingly, there’s not a short answer to this. Some herbalists believe that the longer you’ve had the issue, the longer it may take for it to be resolved. You may have a serious condition that cannot be cured by conventional or alternative medicine but you find that the herbal medicine helps keep you feeling well long term. Women’s hormonal issues can take longer to resolve as we only know how effective the treatment has been once a month. Having said all that, some people respond very quickly to herbal medicine and their bodies rapidly return to a state of balance. I have a huge arsenal of herbs to choose from and if one combination or approach does not seem to be doing the trick then there are many other approaches I can try!