How Does an Acupuncture Practitioner Diagnose ?

| March 31, 2010 | 0 Comments | 538 views

How Does an Acupuncture Practitioner Diagnose

How Does an Acupuncture Practitioner Diagnose


Most Americans know that acupuncture has something to do with healing diseases by using needles. These needles are used to redirect and restore optimal circulation of the life force, known as "Qi", within the body. A person with a mental, physical, or emotional problem has the flow of Qi hindered at one or more points, and effective use of needles will change and restore that flow.One of the more suprising things at an acupuncture clinic is the way a problem can be diagnosed. In most cases, the practitioner holds the wrist of the client and takes his pulse. The pulse is observed at several different points on wrist, and the nature of the pulse is evaluated. After that comes a thorough evaluation and a plan of where to place the needles to best address the problem. There are several different qualities the acupuncture practitioner is observing in the pulse.

The patient can have up to 12 different pulse points taken. Three surface pulse points are taken on each of the wrists, and three deep pulse points are also taken on each wrist. Even an untrained person can notice the difference in pulses depending on the location and depth of the pulse point. There are many possible pulse descriptions in acupuncture, but six of the commonly encountered ones are: floating, sunken, slow, rapid, slippery, and choppy. Taking even a few people's pulses, it is easy to see how some could be described as choppy, and others as slippery.

Another very useful technique for diagnosis in acupuncture is by observing the tongue of the client. Western physicians (and mothers!) can often tell someone has a throat problem by looking at the coating on the tongue. But an acupuncture practitioner is looking at a number of aspects of the tongue: the color of the tongue (both top and sides), any cracks that might be in the tongue, swellings, the condition of the dots on the tongue, and the level of moisture. All of these things provide an illuminating picture of the state of someone's health, and indicates what the acupuncture plan should address.

One thing to remember is that, in acupuncture, a particular western medical diagnosis may not be of much help. That
is because a particular diagnosis may be caused by one of several different kinds of interruptions in the flow of Qi, and hence is not a major influence in what should be done in the acupuncture clinic. However, the acupuncture practitioner definitely wants to know how you actually feel, for this is very significant. Every symptom should be described, as well as the times they are most noticeable, and any associations that can be thought of. For example, the acupuncture practitioner should be told if pains are milder after a good night's sleep, or if headaches are worse under fluorescent lights, and other such associations.

So expect the diagnosis at an acupuncture clinic to be rather different than a diagnosis at a physician's office. The acupuncture practitioner is not looking just at the particular problem, but how your organs and systems presently interact, one result of which is the current problem. This introduction should make you more comfortable with such a diagnosis, give you more understanding as to why your tongue is being so carefully looked at, and hopefully make you interested enough to find out more about it.

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