I’m often speaking to my family members when they mention something in passing that has me pause and say, “Did you tell your acupuncturist about that?” Usually the answer is, “No, I didn’t think to tell him/her.”
Chinese medicine practitioners are whole health practitioners. So, even if you’ve come to see an acupuncturist because of a shoulder injury or for anxiety, that doesn’t mean that what’s happening in other parts of your body doesn’t matter. For us, making an effective diagnosis and generating a treatment plan that will actually help you depends on us understanding not just a part of you, but all of you.
The good news is that if you forget to tell us something, we may figure it out anyhow because of something we feel on your pulses, see on your tongue, because of something we see or feel on your body while we are examining the acupuncture channels or because of something you say. However, here is a list of the kinds of things we want to know so we can be of more help to you:
- You aren’t thirsty or your are super thirsty and can’t seem to satiate that thirst.
- You don’t always poop every day.
- You don’t like food anymore.
- You’re feeling a bit under the weather.
- You have some funny skin rash or itching that we may not be able to see.
- You have trouble digesting meat, or you don’t like meat, though you are not a vegetarian.
- You have trouble digesting beans; the more you eat the more you toot!
- Your mood has been off; you don’t quite feel like yourself.
- You always get sick at a certain time of the year.
- You have allergies and are taking OTC medications for them.
- Your hair is falling out.
- You’ve got funky gunk coming out of private places.
- You sweat a lot, spontaneously.
- Your sweat smells really strong.
- You have floaters in your vision (little squiggles or spots that come and go, or are there all the time).
- You get headaches.
- You have ear ringing or tinnitus.
- You’ve been craving a particular food or flavor.
- You’re libido is lower than you want or think it should be.
- You feel off center; unbalanced or clumsy.
- You wake up at night either to pee or just because.
- You don’t fall asleep easily.
- Where all of your aches and pains are.
- Some interesting family dynamic you are dealing with (any family member).
- You rely on coffee or another stimulant in order to have enough energy to make it through your day.
- You’ve had an organ removed, or part of one removed.
As you can see this is an extensive list, and I could go on and on. While I could tell you about each one of these and why I’d want to know about it in the treatment room, I will leave you with this: any of the above can point me to a better diagnosis to get to the root of why you are feeling the way that you are – whether I am helping you to heal from an injury that’s coming along slower than you think it “should” or if you’ve been managing something more chronic. You can even print this list out as a reminder for what to tell us, or any health care provider about.These tidbits of information about your life are super juicy to us acupuncturists. And, if you want to know more, you can always ask or come see us for an appointment so we can teach you more about it.