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Arriving At A Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine

The observation step accesses the patient's skin, eyes, tongue, nails and also how the patient walks (and overall physical appearance), the openness the patient exhibits (or not), and the overall emotional demeanor of the patient. The observation phase of the diagnostic step starts as soon as the practitioner first lays eyes on the patient.

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There are four main steps taken when arriving at a diagnosis when practicing Chinese medicine.

The four steps are observation, listening & Smelling, Questioning, and Palpation. All of these steps give the practitioner clues as to how the patient's life force is doing.

The observation step accesses the patient's skin, eyes, tongue, nails and also how the patient walks (and overall physical appearance), the openness the patient exhibits (or not), and the overall emotional demeanor of the patient.

The observation phase of the diagnostic step starts as soon as the practitioner first lays eyes on the patient. There are 4 areas that are being assessed in order to determine how serious the condition is that brought the patient to be seen.

The 4 areas are: Vitality, body appearance, facial features and the appearance of the tongue. The vitality encompasses the color, complexion and luster of the skin, the appearance of the face, the flow of the face, the state of the blood and qi.

The color is important because black eye circles may indicate kidney weakness, red coloring is linked to the heart and blue or black coloring is also linked to the kidneys and blue-green indicates possible liver involvement and white suggests a lung problem. The body's appearance includes type of build, presence of fat, and also body hair.

Facial features include expressions of being happy, sad, or anxious. The tongue's appearance is key to the diagnostic procedure and the color, shape, any coating, and texture of the tongue is noted.

The listening and smelling step focuses mainly on the sound of the patient's voice and any breathing sounds being made by the patient. An assessment is also made to determine if there are any breath or body odors.

The questioning step is the information gathering stage for all present and past complaints, especially about eating habits, digestion, bowel and bladder habits, the presence of sweat, or pain and a determination of how well the patient has been sleeping, the family health history, work history, and any daily habits are discussed as well as any physical environmental aspects that may influence the individual as well as the patient's emotional health.

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Those patients who are needle phobic can ask the practitioner about needle alternatives such as acupressure. Acupuncture works because it is a science that is based on bodily functions and the network of energetic meridians that target specific points of the body. It is because acupuncture is based on the science of location of meridians and what stimulating these points will achieve regarding the restoration of harmony that the results have been consistent. It is the consistency of the results that have given acupuncture the recognition it has received in medical society today, both the Chinese and western medical societies. Acupuncture works because the technique is not just to insert, but to stimulate, or manipulate based on the desired effect. Chi Self-Massage: The Taoist Way of Rejuvenation

The last step, palpation involves touching the patient's body so that a temperature can be taken, the presence of moisture is noted, any pain or sensitivity is also assessed as well as the pulse is taken.

The pulse tells a lot about the patient's condition and is important to the diagnostic procedure. The Chinese practitioner places 3 fingers on each wrist to measure a total of 12 pulses. Each of the 12 pulses corresponds to a meridian. There are 14 different pulse characteristics. These characteristics are: empty, full, rapid and slow. The pulse is used to determine which organ is involved in the illness or imbalance.

After the diagnosis, treatments are used to adjust or to restore the yin/yang balance within the body. Usually there are more than one therapy prescribed.

The therapies include: acupuncture, acupressure, food therapy, exercise, and herbal therapy. The choice of therapy is directly related to the diagnosis and the findings during the diagnostic procedure.

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Chinese Medicine
◦  Arriving At A Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine
◦  Blood, Body Fluids, Essence and Qi
◦  Chinese Food Therapy
◦  Chinese Herbal Therapy
◦  Disharmony in Chinese Medicine
◦  How Changing Seasons Effect Chinese Health
◦  Respecting Your Body Language
◦  Components of Traditional Chinese Medicine
◦  Why Does Acupuncture Work
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