Dee Atkinson MNIMH
My passion and interest in plant medicine started when I was very young. Although I was born in Scotland and spent my early years in Ardnamurchan, my family moved to an organic farm in Wales when I was 9. My mother made cough syrups from hedgerow plants and we grew all our own produce. When, as a teenager, I saw my father cured of his ulcer by the local Herbalist David Hoffman, I wanted to know more about the medicine that had given me back my easy going, fun ‘dad’ after years of horrible diets and pills from his GP. Later, having completed a degree in Social Sciences, I spent some time studying Tibetan medicine in Dharmamsala, India. My interest grew and I embarked on a four year course in Western Herbal Medicine in the UK. I qualified in 1998 and moved to Edinburgh where I opened my clinic and where, with the help of Jan de Vries, I set about building a very traditional integrated herbal practice and rebuilt Napiers, the traditional Edinburgh herbal brand, established on that same site in 1860.
I am a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) and I regularly attend conferences and training workshops, both in the UK and abroad. I have also worked as a Council Member of NIMH.
Over the past 12 years I have been actively involved in working towards the regulation of Herbal Practitioners and the regulation of the sale of herbal products. This has involved working with the Department of Health and the Prince of Wales Foundation of Integrated Health. Patient safety is paramount and this work will lead towards improved safety for the public and protection of title for Qualified Herbal Practitioners.
D.Atkinson Herbalist and Napiers Clinic
D.Atkinson Herbalist is my own clinical brand. Our retail dispensary at Bristo place carries one of the UK’s largest ranges of practitioner quality medicinal herbs and tinctures and we carry our own brand of herbal formula and bath and body care products. Many of the formula are based on the traditional blends that I have been working with for over 25 years. My dispensary is managed and staffed by herbal practitioners and qualified therapists to provide the best possible integrated health advice and products.
Established in 1860 by respected Victorian Herbalist and Botanist Duncan Napier, Napiers Clinic at Bristo Place is still open on the original site. Napiers the Herbalists was a family business and became famous throughout Scotland and the UK. In 1990 I took over Napiers and built the business into a worldwide recognised herbal brand. Today, I have stepped aside from the Napiers brand and its mail order company to concentrate on the clinical practice of Herbal Medicine and integrated health care.
In recognition of our heritage we continue to use the Napiers name above our door. We stock Napiers products alongside my own practitioner brand in our dispensary and online at www.deeatkinson.net
I take an eclectic and wide ranging approach to health and to both assessing and working with my patients. I have learnt that there is no one answer or way to good health, but rather many inter-linking paths and crossovers. I have trained in orthodox medicine and clinical diagnosis but also have an understanding that illness has both a physical and an ‘energy’ side. I take time with my patients to work on both the presenting symptoms and the possible underlying causes and, because I know that flexibility and understanding are needed when working with patients, I often use different modalities such as nutrition and lifestyle advice. Working within a multidisciplinary clinic means that our patients have the benefit of access to other therapists and I often cross refer where appropriate.
The therapeutic detective
Ill health and disease are often the expression of internal imbalance. In many cases, we do not fully understand the mechanisms that lead to this imbalance, sometimes seeking help for one physical problem, such as a rash for example, when the real issue comes from an internal imbalance. I always look beyond the presenting complaint to try to understand this imbalance: it might come from the gut microbiome for instance, or it could be an inherited pathway or perhaps be driven by stress. The true aim of a herbal consultation is to restore both physical and energy balances throughout the bodyand to help the patient with a health road map. Herbal Medicine is the oldest known form of medicine and, in world terms, is the most widely used form of medicine. Herbal medicine can work well alongside orthodox medicine and patients can often benefit from a dual approach.
Who comes to my clinic?
Like all GPs, I have a general practice and work with a wide range of patients and clinical situations. Many of my patients have chronic health issues and come to herbal medicine looking for support in the management of them, whilst others have a single problem that they want to fix. Some patients are referred by their GP or consultant, and I often work as part of a patient’s healthcare team. I may suggest that other treatments, either orthodox or complementary, would be more appropriate for your condition. It is always my responsibility to make sure that my treatments are the best approach for your health issue.
A large part of my practice is working with women’s health care, with an emphasis on managing hormonal change and ageing. I also support patients who are undergoing cancer treatments, often working with their healthcare team. This is an area of special interest in which I have personal experience. I have over 25 years of clinical experience and have worked with many different health scenarios. If you are unsure about whether I can help, please contact me before booking or talk to my reception team.
Recognising that no two people are the same, medical herbalists make up specific medicines, tailored to each individual patient. All our medicines are made using plants, sometimes combining up to 15 different plants in a formula.
All of our herbal medicines are made according to GMP in a licensed herbal manufacturing facility and all raw plant material undergoes rigorous testing. Much of our plant material is organically grown and we work with suppliers at the beginning of each season to ensure quality and consistency of materials.
Herbal medicines work in a gentle and supportive way so they can sometimes take a bit longer to achieve results than conventional drugs. Herbs help to support the body’s natural balance and encourage healing to take place.
It is worth remembering that many orthodox drugs, from aspirin to some of the cancer drugs, originate from herbs. Using the whole herb is a powerful way of encouraging a return to health.
Need more information?
If you wish to find out more information on our practitioners or any of the services we offer, please feel free to contact us and we will gladly help you.
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