It’s interesting to observe that so many natural healing arts were developed in China several thousand years ago. Interesting, too, is the observation that several of these, when they were adopted by the Japanese, were built on and developed changes to these practices. Kampo is just such a healing art.

What is Kampo?

Kampo is the study of traditional Chinese medicine in Japan. Kampo teaches that the human body and mind can not be separated. A balance of the physical and the mental is essential for human health. Over many centuries Kampo developed some unique methods of diagnosis and therapy, and it came to emphasize herbal treatments.

The use of herbs to treat maladies has a very long tradition in China and Japan. Skilled Chinese herbologists will modify formulations according to their own experiences. Japanese Kampo tradition uses fixed combinations and formulas as recorded in the classical literature of Chinese medicine.

Standardization of formulas and strict manufacturing conditions for Kampo herbals make it possible to evaluate them for safety and efficacy using modern clinical trial techniques. As a result, almost three-fourths of Japanese physicians prescribe Kampo medicines.

Kampo diagnosis practice

Modern Kampo practitioners look to broader symptom patterns than does the Western medical practitioner. This also is characteristic of diagnostic practices by Acupuncturists and other Eastern healing practitioners.

Western medicine tends to place medical complaints into categories. Kampo looks at the broad range of symptoms, both physical and mental, for treatment recommendations.

Because Kampo diagnosing differs from the Western tradition, treatment of, let us say stomach ache, may be different for different people. Also, it is not unusual for a particular Kampo formula to be used for what in the West would be considered completely different disease conditions.

When Kampo is most effective

Practitioners of Kampo typically will defer to Western medicine where Western effectiveness and safety is well established. This also is true for surgery and emergency cases.

Kampo excels where there are suspicions of multiple conditions producing similar symptoms, which is typical of complaints by the elderly. Kampo also is suggested for immunologic and allergic conditions, generalized complaints, non-specific gynecological complaints, and situations where Western prescriptions produce unacceptable side effects.

Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center
95 Armory Road, Suite 2
Stratford, CT 06614
Phone: 203-267-0895
Fax: 203-345-9827
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