The Chinese Medicine Sanctuary

Ancient Healing in Modern Times

Robin Burby

Robin Burby  MATCM   MBAcC

Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Royal Society of Medicine Senior Associate

BSc (Hons) Traditional Chinese Medicine
BMed (Beijing University of Chinese Medicine)
BSc (Hons) Business Administration

Chinese Wisdom

a wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion

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telephone: 07515 727195
contact form: click here

Frequently Asked Questions

"I am taking some drugs prescribed by my doctor, is it safe to take Chinese herbs at the same time?"

"How long will the treatment last for?"

"How often should I come for treatment?"

"Does the number of needles contribute towards my recovery?"

"Can TCM treat all conditions?"

"Is it best if I choose TCM over my doctor’s treatment?"

"For what conditions should I seek treatment for?"

"Can TCM improve my chances of getting pregnant?"

"Is there scientific research available that supports TCM?"


"I am taking some drugs prescribed by my doctor, is it safe to take Chinese herbs at the same time?"

This is a very important question. All patients should bring a list of all medication currently being taken which should include that prescribed, as well as that given to you by other therapies such as Western herbalism. I will make a note of your medications and make a point of not prescribing herbs for you on your first visit. This will then allow me to research your current medications with the herbs that I want to prescribe to assess any possible interactions. I will also ask for a list of your known allergies to make sure that nothing prescribed for you will cause any reactions.


"How long will the treatment last for?"

This varies quite a lot and is dependent on several factors. The first is how long you have had your problems for; treatment for acute or short-term conditions may only last a few weeks, whereas for more chronic or long-term problems, treatment could last for several months. The effect of TCM will also depend on your own individual make-up. Some people are more responsive to treatment than others, just the same as some people are more responsive to conventional drugs prescribed by a doctor, but the great thing is that there is never just one route to take when treating an illness, so different therapies can be used to see what is right for you. In general, however, you can expect to come for 4-6 treatments but I will give you a more accurate idea in your first consultation.


"How often should I come for treatment?"

Again this depends on a number of factors including your problems, time and money. In China acupuncture treatment is administered six days-a-week, herbs are prescribed on a weekly basis, Tui Na on a weekly basis, exercise and diet on a daily basis. In an ideal world I would like to see you twice-a-week initially, then progress to weekly, every fortnight and then once a month. This is because during the initial stages of treatment it is good to keep a close eye on your symptoms and adjust the treatment as necessary, then as your body responds more to the treatment, the frequency of appointments can reduce. TCM is not a quick fix medicine, and it is certainly not magic. TCM works in harmony with your own body and so the treatment of illnesses and symptoms can only respond so quickly, especially when treatment is aimed at the root cause of your disharmony.


"Does the number of needles contribute towards my recovery?"

There is no correlation between the number of needles and how quickly you will recover from having acupuncture. In problems such as pure neck pain there will be fewer needles than if someone has neck, shoulder and back pain. So the number of needles utilised during an acupuncture session will depend on how complex your condition is and which areas are of the most importance.


"Can TCM treat all conditions?"

In short no! As much as I would like it to, TCM has its limitations just like conventional medicine, and it is part of my philosophy to be completely open and honest with you from our first conversation. If TCM can not treat your condition, or the success rate is poor I will let you know. Furthermore, if I think that another type of treatment has more success in treating your condition I will tell you and recommend a practitioner to you.


"Is it best if I choose TCM over my doctor’s treatment?"

Conventional, or biomedicine, is truly a modern wonder and should never be pushed aside in favour of any therapy. I would like to actively communicate with your doctor to keep them informed of what I am treating you for and how I intend to treat you. Some conditions are better treated by TCM, and some are best treated by conventional medication or surgery. Often the best from both systems may be employed together so that you, the patient gets better as quickly as possible.


"For what conditions should I seek treatment for?"

The list of conditions that TCM may provide some benefit to is like counting the number of grains of sand on a beach, and if you are interested the best thing to do is get in contact and simply ask me. However, TCM is especially effective at treating any sort of pain, gynaecological problems such as PMT or endometriosis, dermatological diseases, IBS, chronic coughs, palliative cancer care such as hot flushes, sweating or low immune system. Or TCM may simply be used to give you a boost when you are feeling run down and tired. Acupuncture is also effective at helping you to reduce weight, however, treatments are normally 3/4 times-a-week for a minimum of six weeks - special rates apply and more information is available by contacting me.


"Can TCM improve my chances of getting pregnant?"

TCM has been shown to be more and more effective in increasing he success rates of IVF treatments, as well as boosting up fertility in both men and women. I will be honest with you and say it is normally at least a six month course of treatment that, like IVF, has no guarantees.


"Is there scientific research available that supports TCM?"

Modern medical research has been attempting to investigate how TCM works for the past 50 years, and research methods are improving all the time. Many herbs have been analysed for their chemical components and trials occur throughout the world utilising acupuncture for a variety of conditions. There is still a great deal that remains scientifically unproven in research trials carried out all over the world, but at the same time the amount of investment is increasing every day. I would just like to point out that of course it is necessary for TCM to be fully understood in modern biomedical terms but one of it's greatest advantages is the ability to view the state of health from a completely different point of view, that often provides a different treatment strategy that can prove to be effective, where current treatments have proven limited or even ineffective. If you would like know about current research on a specific condition, please feel free to get in contact with me and I will do my best to find out for you.