In Japan, herbal medicine called Kampo plays an important role in healthcare. More than 70% of physicians prescribe Kampo medicines for their patients as well as modern medicines. Some physicians prescribe Kampo medicine to compensate for the shortcomings of modern medicine. Other physicians prescribe several Kampo medicines as first-line drug therapy because double-blind, randomized, controlled studies have demonstrated their usefulness. Recent basic research has revealed that Kampo has multiple sites of action to restore homeostasis in highly stressed patients. It has been demonstrated that a single Kampo formula acts on both the central nervous system and peripheral target organs, i.e., the mind and body, to improve stress-induced conditions. Therefore, today, many Japanese psychosomatic physicians combine conventional psychosomatic therapies and Kampo to treat stress-related diseases. This integrated approach is now called Kampo psychosomatic medicine.
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