I am a student of TCM attending (school
name erased). I have been having phlegm problems for about
two months now. I have gotten herbs for this cough and phlegm.
It has gotten better but the phlegm never went away. This
past weekend I didn't get enough rest and since Monday I
have had a severe sore throat. I went to one of my teacher's
clinics and got acupuncture, herbs, and some homeopathic
remedies as well. The next day I developed an earache. I
went to see another Dr. of TCM and got some more herbs and
acupuncture for the earache, sore throat, and cough. The
sore throat is now not as painful, but I still have the
My teacher is stressing me not to go see a MD
and get antibiotics. Is this strep throat and what is your viewpoint
and advice for my situation? It's hard to stay loyal to natural
healing when being sick makes me spend money and lose money since
I cannot work! I am less than satisfied with the results TCM and
homeopathy have yielded me this time.
Thanks for your time in reading my question!
Sometimes the practitioner's pattern diagnosis is wrong, or the
best formula isn't chosen, or the dosage is too low. For the most
part, I've succeeded in treating such problems with herbs, but
occasionally antibiotics are necessary.
Your teacher is off base on two counts - we should never tell
a patient not to see another practitioner or try another medicine
- that's unethical, and in some cases may not be in the best interest
of the patient. Regardless, we in alternative medicine should
be cooperating with competent MD's, not living in another ivory
tower. Imagine what we'd think if we heard about an MD urging
a patient not to try acupuncture or Chinese herbs.
Antibiotics are not all bad. We mustn't forget that great health
and long lifespans are partly because of Western medicine's advances.
Sometimes they are the best remedy. Even though antibiotics can
cause harm in other ways (e.g. intestinal imbalances), such problems
are also treatable, especially if you look for them and deal with
them quickly. So let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Contrary to your teacher, I would suggest you consider an MD
and antibiotic for the ear infection. This may not solve all your
problems, since you had the phlegm issue for 2 months, so I would
suggest you follow up with herbs with a different practitioner
who will re-evaluate your diagnoses, or if you stick with the
same teacher, make sure he/she is planning to re-evaluate your
pattern diagnoses and try different herbs.
Let me know how it goes,