WHY WE ASK SO MANY IN-DEPTH QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH
By Dr. Nicole Glathe
To create your formula, we must first understand your underlying state of health. Chinese medicine uses a system called Pattern Diagnosis to identify and group a wide range of symptoms into a simple pattern of imbalances. The answers you provide in the online health assessment help us determine your body’s pattern (or patterns) and the treatment needed. Your pattern is considered the root of your disorder(s), and your treatment is further tailored based on your unique combination of symptoms. By considering the entire body and every symptom, Chinese medicine is able to holistically treat everything at once with minimal side effects. Focusing on the disharmony of the whole body over a specific organ or body region is critical because when one small thing changes, it can throw off the entire interconnected system.
This differs from Western medicine, which treats one symptom at a time. But this approach can often lead to more problems than when you started, and nobody wants that. By holistically treating symptoms from where they originate, Chinese medicine not only stops them from manifesting, but eliminates their existence altogether.
When it comes to menstrual pain or other cycle-related symptoms, Western medicine has one solution: hormonal birth control. In Chinese Medicine, we have hundreds of diagnoses and treatment options for the same condition. To decide which one to use, we need to ask a lot of questions to understand what needs to be treated and how.
Let’s look at an example of a typical pattern, known has Blood Deficiency. It has the following signs and symptoms:
- Irregular and/or painful periods
- Dry mouth/throat
- Changes in appetite or cravings
- Tender breasts
- Changes in bowel movements
- Pale tongue
You can already see that this pattern encompasses a wide range of symptoms and areas of the body. But not every person who falls into this pattern displays every single one of these symptoms, which is why we ask the questions we do. Using the above example, maybe Ashley experiences headaches and dry mouth, whereas Mary Kate experiences dizziness and irritability. In either case, their unique symptoms can be relieved by treating their root cause, or pattern, which is blood deficiency. Once we match a person to their pattern, we can determine the treatment strategy. Example strategies include:
- Moving Qi (the Chinese medicine concept of energy)
- Building new blood
- Draining toxins
- And much more
Blood deficiency is only one of many identifiable patterns, and it’s possible for a person to have only part of a pattern or a combination of a few. This is why practitioners study for many years, learning the delicate world of Chinese Medicine diagnosis and how to combine the right herbs in the right ratios to suit a person’s unique combination of symptoms. It’s also why having a licensed practitioner analyze not just your cycle-related symptoms, but also your body’s overall balance, can lead to the most success in managing any state of disease.
Our goal at Elix is to help you understand and take control of your menstrual cycle by making this type of tailored treatment more accessible to all. Click here to take our online health assessment today!
Dr. Nicole Glathe is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, California board certified licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), Certified Classical Five Elements Practitioner and Instructor, and co-founder of Elix. Her passion is women's health and her mission is to empower people to live their healthiest and happiest lives. She is always delighted to discuss your health journey - shoot her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.