Diagnosis in Acupuncture

By Milos

When considering Acupuncture, it is important to understand how the Diagnosis and Treatment differ from the Western Medicine model.

The fundamental difference between Acupuncture and Western Medicine lies in the way we diagnose patients. In the Western model, most of the time, patient is referred to a specialist – a Doctor who focuses on specific disorders. Just like on an assembly line, patients are supplied to specialists that can evaluate which one of the currently practiced therapies fits each patient the best. In this model, patients are observed and evaluated for medication, replacement or removal of a certain part of their body. The diagnosis is made based on accurate measurements and observations that often include other specialists. Everything that can be measured is measured in order to generate an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, things that can not be measured can also not be taken into the account – a major reason why Western Medicine misses the right diagnosis so many times.

Eastern Medicine was developed long before Cat scans and MRI were available. Instead of shiny equipment, Eastern Medicine relies solely on a doctor to create a diagnosis. In the Eastern model, patients are always seen by the same practitioner. Each patient is considered a whole – a unique individual that is experiencing disease related to an imbalance in Qi movement. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) observe two states of being: ease or dis-ease. They evaluate disease in terms of its origins in the flow (or lack of flow) of Life force within the body. Observation of skin, eyes and tongue; taking pulses and getting answers to a long list of relevant questions replace expensive and time consuming tests and analysis necessary in Western Medicine.

Needles to say, the patient’s experience when working with an Acupuncturist vs a Western Medicine Doctor is completely different. One needs to know everything about all facets of patient’s life, the other is often not interested in much more then doing blood tests and completing a short questionnaire. Acupuncturist will look at a number of things in order to complete the diagnosis. Most of them are listed in our “Acupuncture Treatment” article. The critical thing to remember and the difference from Western model is that instead of focusing on removing the symptom, the Acupuncturist is looking for a deep rooted cause of imbalance.

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