When you visit a medical doctor, the usual method of diagnosis is to draw blood samples and do other standard medical tests. However, acupuncturists have different methods of determining what is going on in your body and the best ways of helping you reduce pain and build health.
A standard work-up will start with many questions about your health history. Some of these will be the same kind of questions you would hear from a medical doctor, such as about any pain you may be having or questions about how well you sleep. You will also be asked about your diet and exercise routines.
Other questions may seem unusual, as your acupuncturist may ask you about your sexual activity, any bladder issues and regular or irregular bowel movements.
Acupuncturists generally use a number of processes to determine the correct diagnosis for their patients. They have been trained to rely on information they receive from their senses and intuition rather than on tests using chemicals in a laboratory.
Next comes a physical evaluation of your body. Body movements, such as your walking gait and posture are observed. The tongue is also inspected and special qualities about your voice will be noted. Then the acupuncturist will classify the color of your face. All of these will be entered on your chart so they can be compared in future sessions to determine any changes in your health.
An acupuncturist will also use the sense of touch to evaluate you. First, he or she will take your pulse and observe it’s speed and strength. Then your personal reaction to touch will be evaluated. The practitioner will want to know if a painful area feels better or worse when heat, cold or pressure is applied.
Your acupuncturist will continue your health history by using his or her sense of smell. Even right after a shower, every person has a body scent. As a holistic health practitioner, an acupuncturist has learned to use the differences and strengths in scent in health evaluations.
Finally you will be asked about your emotions because in the Chinese medical tradition, health and emotions are related.
At the end of the examination, the acupuncturist will discuss any findings with you and let you know how he or she will help you reduce pain and get into overall better health.