Your first visit starts with an extensive interview and history with a physical exam. The diagnostic methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine include mainly the four techniques of diagnosis, namely, inspection, listening, inquiring, and pulse-taking.
Inquiring and Listening
You will be asked questions relating to:
- Your medical history and perhaps that of your immediate family;
- Your chief complaints and related questions, such as duration, causes (if you know), aggravating and relieaving factors, history of diagnoses and treatment of the main complaints;
- General aspect of your health, such as your appetite, bowel motion, urination, sleep, emotion, energy level, perspiration, stress levels, and exercise regime, to ensure that a holistic approach is taken.
- Your Lifestyle involve your dietary habit, smoking drinking history, exercise, etc.
Inspection and Pulse taking include
Physical testing for the specific conditions will be performed to find out the right diagnosis, such as Straight Leg Raising Testing for Sciatica and Back pain, Painful Arc Testing for shoulder pain, Abdominal palpation for suspected Gallbladder or Appendix problem, etc;
Unique Traditional Chinese Medicine examinations as Pulse feeling, Tongue inspection, eyes and face observations. These invaluable diagnosis methods give insight into the condition of the internal organs, the flow of internal energy in the meridians and the balance of yin and yang in the body.
Then you may be given acupuncture treatment, or a combination treatment with acupuncture, acupressure, cupping therapy, or other therapies.
Sometimes our practitioner will prescribe Chinese herbal medicine for you based on the diagnosis. The herbs can be Raw Herbs, Extracted Herbal Granules, Patent Herbal Pills/capsules, or herbal cream/ointment for external use.
Exercise or Advice
Physical exercises will be given for pain or injury management.
Qigong or breathing exercises will be given or suggested for certain conditions
You will also have dietary and lifestyle advice if necessary.
Duration of consultation and treatment
The first visit usually takes about one hour including the treatment time (in some more complicated cases may last over one and half hour). In the subsequent visit, acupuncture treatment lasts 30 to 40 minutes or so. The Combination Treatment generally lasts at least 60 minutes.
The beneficial reaction usually starts during the first four or five visits. You may feel better straight away even just after the first visit.
By: Dr. Richard Zeng