In the first paragraph of The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism, author Matthew Wood gives us a good description of what the system of energetics is: ...a vocabulary for describing "energy patterns" or physiological and psychological patterns in the body. The point is to express the activities and configurations of energy, qi, or the vital force - call it what you will. This system of energy patterns is neither new or exclusive to western herbalism, but has been an integral part of healing traditions for centuries. Matt does go so far as to claim that the use of an energetic system is virtually a prerequisite in holistic medicine. While the use of herbs to support healing is not necessarily holistic, to use them well, respectfully, and specifically for reestablishing equilibrium in our systems we need a working understanding of energetics.