chinese medicines
green medicine
by specific condition
how it's done
listening & smelling
chinese medicine
causes of disharmony
the meridian system
the five elements
vital substances
yin yang theory
zangfu organs
tai chi





During the first visit, a considerable amount of time is spent asking the patient for details about his or her general condition. These questions relate to all emotional, physical, and energy related signs and symptoms, and can help the practitioner form a more complete picture of the patient's condition.

A full medical history is usually taken, including details of past illness, operations, physical and mental traumas. While these issues may not seem pertinent to the patient at this juncture, they do provide important insights into the pattern of disharmony existing within the patient.

Other important questions which may be asked are:

  • Preferences for heat or cold
  • Frequency and consistency of urination and defecation
  • Sleep patterns
  • Diet and thirst
  • Menstrual cycle (length, pain associated, heaviness of bleeding, etc.)
  • Headaches (when they occur, where and under what circumstances)
  • Perspiration (amount, time of day, circumstances)

In addition, the practioner may inquire regarding the nature of any pain or discomfort, as reactions to heat or cold may point to patterns of excess and deficiency, such as imbalances in Yin and Yang. For example, if pain is relieved by heat, a cold condition (Yin) is indicated. If the reverse is true, such as a discomforts alleviated by cold, a Yang condition could be present.

The site(s) of the pain are also noted as they may indicate a blockage or stagnation of qi within the meridians of the body.

Related Topics

observation as part of diagnosis

palpation as part of diagnosis
listening and smelling as part of diagnosis



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The information provided on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Should you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering any natural remedy.

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