What is the difference between a diagnosis and a pattern?
(Hint: This is how I tailor a treatment to you!)
When you go to your medical appointment, your doctor will give you a diagnosis.
Let’s say you have trouble sleeping – you’ll be asked questions about sleep, fatigue, discomfort, and put through tests to determine if it’s possibly insomnia, or sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome. That becomes your diagnosis.
But when you come to see me, an acupuncturist and herbalist, I look for patterns instead.
It’s certainly very helpful to know if you have a diagnosis, that gives me a place to start.
A pattern looks at so much more.
When you have trouble sleeping, I’m going to ask you other questions that will seem unrelated to sleep. For example…
- Do you tend to run hot or cold?
- Is it worse with stress?
- Does your whole body sweat at night or just chest or just hands and feet?
- How are your stools? What color is your urine?
- Is there pain anywhere? etc., etc.
Then I may check your pulse and look at your tongue.
The answers to all of the above form a pattern, and then I choose the acupuncture points based on the pattern.
This is how I tailor the treatment to you specifically.
Let’s say I have five people coming in wanting help with insomnia.
They will each end up getting a different treatment based on their answers to the other questions, the appearance of their tongue, and how their pulse feels.
It’s a nuance difference, but I treat the PERSON with insomnia, rather than the insomnia diagnosis.
We are not all the same, so we shouldn’t all get a cookie-cutter treatment.
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