Why your health history is actually much more than those forms you are filling out.
You may come to our doctors’ office or you go to any doctor’s office and you are asked to do it. You need to fill out that dreaded health history form. Long, arduous, detailed, and necessary. Name address, height, weight, primary concerns, major medical issues, recent surgeries, procedures, medications, supplements, family health history, etc. Our office will ask you to fill it out too…and possibly more. You see, we believe, that those medical forms look for major red flags, health catastrophes, and serious disease. However, if you come to our office, we assume you have came because you have suffered from something chronic such as infertility, pain, or illness of unknown origin. Something that has not been yet addressed completely. So, our office will look for the nuances listed between those lines. The possible gray areas in your person health history. Just so you understand, when you come to our office, we will have a long conversation about your history, your real health history.
When you enter an office practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine you will you will be given a standard health history and an additional form asking about symptoms or patterns that seem unimportant. However, they are significant. Let’s think about this. Before the innovations of bloodwork, imaging or other diagnostics, the most important thing any doctor could do was get a thorough health history from the patient and his or her family. The Chinese has been asking 10 main health history questions since 1624, long before modern diagnostics. Here is a sample of the ten questions you may be asked.
Do you feel more cold and heat, chills and fever?
Do you suffer from perspiration such as night sweats or spontaneous perspiration?
Do you have pain in head abdomen, or body?
How are your urine and bowel movements such frequency, urgency etc?
How is your diet and appetite? Do you have bloating, cravings or bitter taste in mouth?
How is your thirst- excessive, lacking, thirst with no desire to drink?
How is your mental or emotional state such as grief, anger, worry or fear?
How is your hearing- tinnitus or hearing loss?
How is your sleep? Excessive, difficult, or do you have frequent dreaming?
We will ask detailed gynecological issues such late or early or late menses, irregular, light or heavy, bright or dark in color, and pain or cramps? Do you have premenstrual headaches, cravings, anxiety, or grief? Do you have a history of cysts, fibroids, or endometriosis?
In addition to these questions our TCM practitioner will ask more investigative questions such as previous diseases or infections, travel to other countries or exotic locations, any noted traumas, physical and emotional, prior medications or vaccinations and dates, previous life changes or current lifestyle. We do this to piece together a realistic possible timeline as to when your symptoms occurred so we can find a correlation and possible cause. Then we devise the best suitable treatment for you.
In addition, we practice observation of the patient’s tongue and pulse, demeanor, speech, energy level, complexion, eyes, and other physical characteristics. This along with all the information you share and discuss will help us get to the real mystery of your health concerns.
Whether it’s chronic pain, fatigue, migraines, digestive issues, or unexplained infertility we will spend a considerable amount of time those first few visits uncovering the dynamics of your health history and devise an effective plan to move your health forward. We don’t believe you became sick for no apparent reason. The body does everything for a reason. We are here to help you figure it out, feel better, and continue to have good health in the future. The most important thing to do is tell us your history.