The Healing Journey
The journey to wellness is a process that is guided by the path to wellness and dynamic balance. We move from being dysfunctional to functional. Then we look at the quality of your function. The final phase is effortless function. Based on where you start in the journey, this is where we expect you to go and what you will experience.
Starting the journey
Starting the journey begins with an evaluation and generating a diagnosis. Diagnosis in Chinese medicine is very different than in Western medicine.
Four Pillars of Diagnosis
There are four methods of diagnostics in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which are often referred to as the Four Pillars of Diagnosis. They are:
- Inspection: Inspection or “looking” focuses on a visual analysis of the face, skin features, and particularly, the tongue. In TCM, the surface of the tongue corresponds to particular zang-fu organs and can reveal a lot about a particular disease. Therefore, the tongue diagnosis is considered a cornerstone practice in the diagnostic process.
- Auscultation: Auscultation refers to the analysis of particular sounds. In TCM, there are five major types of sounds: shouting, laughing, singing, weeping, and groaning. Auscultation analysis extends to olfaction, which analyzes the smell of body odor, even though sound and smell are considered to be separate senses in the West.
- Palpation: Palpation refers to an analysis by feeling, particularly the wrist pulse, abdomen, and meridians points. The techniques for doing are complex and can years to learn.
- Inquiry: Inquiry refers to an analysis by asking questions about the person’s past health and habits. Traditionally, this included 10 questions, which ranged from diet to sleep pattern.
We use the information gleaned from the Four Pillars of Diagnosis to determine the root of the issue as well as manifestation. What sets Eastern medicine apart is that we diagnosis your constitution as well as the constitution of the illness in order to guide our treatments.
Nine Body Constitutions in Chinese Medicine
The concept of constitution is widely applied in the practice of Chinese medicine. Constitutional consideration is an important process for clinical diagnosis and treatment, and it also lays the foundation for health promotion and disease prevention.
Chinese medicine claims that due to inherited and acquired influences, each of us has some uniqueness in regarding structural, physiological and psychological aspects. These individual characters combine to form body constitution that determines how we live and behave and our susceptibility to pathogens and disease development. Since constitution formation is affected by a variety of inherited and acquired factors.
Where are you on the journey?
Where you are on the journey depends on your particular pattern of disharmony, which is considered a Chinese medicine diagnosis. This pattern of disharmony and your constitution is what determines treatment. The treatment can include the more common practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, and tui na massage, cupping, and diet and lifestyle recommendations.
Staying on the journey
Staying on the journey is potentially the hardest part. People can start to feel lost in their healing path, doubt settles in and they may give up. It is important to know that some issues can take three-to-six months to resolve. Some may take a year. I have seen people work on a particular condition for eight years. But it is the process that is important and not the length of time doing the process. The healing path is ultimately about knowing ourselves, developing awareness of who we are, how we think and feel and move. So note the doubt, the blocks, and the plateaus and use the information to learn more about who you are.
See the post on “The Goal is to be Healed” for more on this topic.