By Dr. Nicole Glathe


If you haven’t already completed our online health assessment, you may have checked it out and seen that it asks over 50 questions about your health. You may be wondering, “why so many questions?” or, “is it really necessary to get so personal?” or even, “can’t I just use some painkillers and avoid all this hassle?” Well, you might be interested to know that long-term use of aspirin and ibuprofen comes with a 25% chance of developing an ulcer or gastrointestinal disease (not to mention a whole host of other issues). That’s why those of us in the health industry are beginning to view painkillers as a band-aid for a bullet hole, and we at Elix are determined to find a better solution. Here, we explain why we ask so many questions about your health, and how we use that information to create your tailored herbal treatment.

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
- Headaches
- Dry mouth/throat
- Changes in appetite or cravings
- Fatigue
- Tender breasts
- Irritability
- Dizziness
- 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 nicole@elixhealing.com.