Traditional Chinese Medicine theory (TCM) and diagnostics involves finding out the patient’s issues and symptoms, along with selecting the correct procedure to prevent or relieve the ailments. At Shulan College we hold an intensive TCM Theory & Diagnostics course which includes training towards becoming a Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner, explaining the reasons behind acupuncture as well as Chinese philosophy.
The 10 questions asked in TCM theory & diagnostics
It’s very common for the practitioner to ask the patient lots of questions on their initial visit, as well as filling out a questionnaire. This is so the practitioner can create a bespoke treatment for the patient. The 10 basic question types are as follows:
- Have you experienced any hot or cold fevers or chills?
- Any sweating on the palms, soles and chest?
- Have you, or are you, suffering from any headaches, migraines, dizziness or vision complaints?
- Any pain-related issues?
- What is the colour/consistency of urine/stools?
- Questions to do with digestion, thirst, appetite and tastes
- How are you sleeping?
- Various questions about the thorax and abdomen
- The status of a female patient’s menstrual cycle
- Lifestyle and habits (e.g. hereditary illnesses, drug abuse, history of mental health, all past major operations, etc)
Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine
As part of TCM theory & diagnostics, the practitioner may look at the patient’s tongue. A normal, healthy tongue in Chinese Medicine is defined as being light red or pinkish in colour with a thin white coating. Certain sections of the tongue are used to diagnose different complaints in the body. There are 5 “channels” on the tongue including: Kidney/bladder/intestines, spleen/stomach, liver/gallbladder, lungs and the heart. Practitioners will look at the colour, shape, features, moisture, coating and any cracks on the tongue to make a diagnosis.
Pulse Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine
The pulse is a vital part of the TCM theory & diagnostics process. A practitioner will analyse your pulse to gain valuable clinical information. There are nine positions in which the practitioner will check the pulse. A healthy pulse is defined as being apparent in all 9 positions with a regular rhythm of 90-90 bpm. The pulse may be influences by the patient’s age, gender and the season.