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The Art and Practice of Healing with Plant Medicines
Individual Health Profiles
excerpt from Chapter Five:
The Offering of Herbal Medicine
Learning a client's physical, emotional and life history creates a holistic profile of the human being before you. Health issues clarify more readily when viewing the whole story. A questionnaire specifically designed to draw forth such pertinent details can help here.
The range of individual health profiles, or intake forms, used by herbalists reflects personal style. Some practitioners rely on intuition alone to ask a few important questions, then maybe work with muscle testing and reading the pulses when herbs or tinctures are applied. Many prefer running down a list of questions designed to open up an encompassing dialogue with a client. The typical profile of three to eight pages serves as a springboard to the heart of the matter. The Health Inventory that Nancy put together for her practice addresses the reason a client has come and looks at diet, habits, individual and family health history, and emotional and spiritual well-being. A diet diary extending over several days often reveals the biggest piece of the puzzle. Individual herbalists, however, should shape their own questions. "We ask the question only if we know what the different answers will mean," suggests Margi Flint.
Whether to have the client fill out the form at home before the actual consultation depends on how we prefer to orient the time together. If the form is filled out in advance and given to the practitioner beforehand, the herbalist has a chance to research any pharmaceuticals or supplements the person may be using. The client begins to consider the whole story, and in that sense comes primed for holistic assessment. Some herbalists prefer instead to ask the intake questions during the initial consultation. Body language and tone of voice can be observed, and these often indicate areas that need further probing. Most important, the people coming to see us often want this chance to be heard by a compassionate listener.
If you have any trouble downloading this form, please let us know.
You may also send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs
Health Inventory Request
859 Lost Nation Road
Groveton, NH 03582
The Herbalist's Way: