Joseph Thomas, Ph.D. has been a practitioner, teacher, lecturer, and consultant in Chinese medicine with a focus on Internal Medicine, for more than twenty-five years. Between 1993 and 1998 Dr. Thomas had the distinct honor of being chosen to apprentice with Leon Hammer, MD, one of the world’s foremost experts in both diagnostics and Chinese herbalism. Added to this training was his earlier work as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] scientist in medical research. Dr. Thomas’ research focus and inherent ability to think as a scientist united with his unique training and work in Chinese medicine is the foundation of his current expertise in herbal formulation.
My profession is a natural extension of my devotion to horses, my proficiency as a Contemporary Chinese Herbalist and my skills as a research scientist. It is my nature to research a theoretical concept thoroughly until I am completely satisfied that the understanding I have gained can be applied clinically. The conceptual framework I use in my herbal formulations is rooted in Chinese medical theory. The nature of this theory is inherently holistic which means that herbs and herbal properties are con sidered within the context of the whole issue. In the same sense, any health issue in the horse must be considered within the context of the whole horse.
Each herbal formulation must essentially deal with the source, the root concern, of the pathophysiology and be “assisted” and strengthened by supporting groups of herbs that address the interrelated organs and “systems” involved. This therapeutic paradigm assures that the “whole” health concern of the horse is being addressed from the “inside” and not just the symptoms.
Research into both Equine Pathophysiology and Contemporary Chinese Herbalism continues to be an integral aspect of my work.
The following is Dr. Thomas’ formulation strategy for his herbal solutions:
When formulating an herbal solution, I begin with respect for the integrity of the single herbs and then consider them in relationship to one another. Each of these herbs has its own set of rules and properties that revolve around its inherent qualities. Once the requirements of these properties are met, the individual herbs are considered for placement within clearly defined strategic groups. Similarly, each group must relate to each other group within a strict code of rules so that they support each other to satisfy the solution’s intent. Each group of herbs must hold together within an integrated relationship designed to benefit the underlying concept of the theme of the whole. The proportions of each of the individual herbs within a group and the proportions of the groups of herbs within the whole formula must be considered to create the solution’s experience as a single unifying focused intent.