This week I wanted to introduce my pharmacology class. One may
think, what? Why is a pharmacology class in an Eastern program?
Actually it is essential.
In clinic, a majority of your patients will be taking Western
drugs and one should know what drugs they are taking and their
mechanism of action. This is important not only if you are
recommending herbal supplements, but also if you will be performing
any modalities such as fire cupping, which will be contraindicated
in a diabetic patient or any patient that may have a decreased
sense of temperature.
In herbs class we have learned that there are many herbs that
may have a synergist affect on Western medications and therefore
would be contraindicated. This knowledge is imperative not only for
the patient's health but also for the practitioner. Even though the
herbs are from a plant, rhizome, mineral, or animal, they should be
handled with the same respect as a Western drug because they have
powerful pharmacological effects.
In pharmacology, taught by Dr. Arfeen, we learn prescription
drugs and over the counter drugs. We learn the indications, side
effects and any contraindications of the med. When a patient
presents with a symptom, it is important to differentiate whether
it is due to a side effect of a med or a sign and symptom. This is
key when identifying a TCM pattern and treating the patient.