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The way that a TCM practitioner views the diagnosis of disease varies greatly from that of a western physician. When you go to your doctor's office, he/she may take your blood pressure, temperature, and do a general examination of your body. A TCM practitioner uses methods that existed prior to the existence of blood tests, blood pressure cuffs and x-rays in order to understand what is going on in the body. When you come to my office for treatment, I will use alternative methods to understand your symptoms such as read your pulse, examine your tongue, and ask questions about a variety of aspects of your life that may be contributing to your complaints.

There are four components to diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • Inspection of the body
  • Listening to the sounds of the body
  • History taking
  • Palpation

I will explain each one of these components in more detail so you can have a better understanding of how TCM differs from western medicine diagnosis.


Inspection of the Body

Inspection of the body includes looking at your facial color, condition of the tongue, and checking the condition of the skin for areas of swelling or bruising. When I examine your facial color, I am looking for what color and tinge are evident and how they correspond to your consititution. In TCM, different organs are represented in specific areas of the tongue. When I inspect your tongue, the location of the color, coating, and size gives me valid information about the condition of your organs. From your eyes, I am able to detect the state of vitality in your life by looking for a shine or glow as opposed to a cloudiness or glaze.


Listening to the Sounds of the Body

Listening to the sounds of the body includes breathing and pulse reading. I am able to assess the condition of your breathing by watching you breathe to determine if you are breathing properly. For example, some people breathe only into their chest instead of into their abdomen. This is often a sign that the body's ability to handle stress is compromised. Pulse reading is an art and a science. There are three pulses on each hand, with two levels representing six organs per hand. When reading a pulse, I am able to assess which organs are healthy and which are compromised. This is a key to determining which acupuncture points are selected for stimulation.


History Taking

It is important to gather an extensive health and medical history in order to best understand the nature of your concerns. When you come for an initial treatment, I will ask questions regarding your lifestyle choices (diet and exercise), relationships, sleep patterns, digestion, aches and pains, stress, previous medical treatments and medication.


Palpation

Palpation is a method of examination in which the practitioner feels the size, shape or firmness of an area of injury or pain in the body. When I examine you, I am checking for areas of pain and tenderness, and their relationship to the meridians in the body. The meridians are related to the twelve major organs and provide me with additional information about which acupuncture points are necessary for treatment.


These four methods of classifying your information provide me with the important factors to decide the appropriate course of treatment for your condition. Depending on what symptoms are presented, whether they are as a result of an illness, or pain related or emotionally based, I would use one of three forms of acupuncture: Eight Principles, Five Element or Tan's Balance Method. Learn more about these different styles on the following page.

About My
Practice

My dedication to Chinese Medicine comes from experiencing my own healing process with the medicine. Treatment went to the root cause of my imbalances and I no longer use conventional medicines that treat only the symptoms and have an adverse effect on my life. Continue Reading...

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