How can you tell what patterns I have?
First, Antonia closely examines your skin (sometimes with a magnifying glass) and takes close-up photos of your face. (Photos are also taken in each follow up visit in order to keep track of how things are changing). The look of the skin gives us lots of information about what is going on internally. Lesions located around the mouth only indicate a different pattern than lesions that have spread further – like up to the eyes. Small bumps with fluid in them indicate a different pattern from larger bumps with yellowish pus. Background redness has particular significance. In all these cases the underlying imbalances are different, so different herbal treatment is indicated.
Antonia also determines what inner imbalances led to the lesions expressing in the first place. What other symptoms do you have? Is there irritability or stress? Do you have a huge appetite, or no desire for food at all. Do you tend to have bad breath a lot? Are you frequently constipated, or are loose bowels more common? In the herbal consultation we discuss everything from workplace/environmental factors to family history to physical and emotional signs and symptoms.
Once she identifies the patterns of disharmony, Antonia puts together a custom herbal formula. There are multiple ingredients in each person’s herbal formula to address each of the underlying patterns. The ingredients in the formula change over time as the skin evolves and heals.
Antonia also recommends the best topical treatment (which may come in the form of an herb wash, ointment or cream) as well as beneficial foods and foods to avoid.