~ by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.

Diagnosis is general judgement about diseases and syndromes as well as state of health of the human body by collecting and analyzing clinical data on the basis of its diagnostic methods.

Diagnostics is a discipline to study the basic theories, methods and techniques of diagnosis in medicine. With its substantial content, it is regarded as the foundation of every clinical intake. Diagnosis includes diagnostic methods and differentiation of syndromes.

Diagnostic methods consist of interrogation, inspection, auscultation and olfaction, pulse-feeling and palpation. All these methods aim mainly at providing objective basis for differentiation of syndromes by collecting symptoms and signs from the patient.

Differentiation of syndromes refers to the process in which analysis and inference are made on the basis of clinical materials acquired through various diagnostic methods to determine the type of a disease. Such modes of logical thinking as concept, inference and judgement are adopted in the differentiation of syndromes. The type of a disease is drawn from a large amount of perceptual materials. As a pathological generalization of a disease in its certain stage, syndromes reflect the law and nature of a disease, serving as a basis for treatment. Therefore, they differ from symptoms.

Determining if a disease pattern is acute or chronic, more exterior or interior, more hot or more cold are some of the basic diagnosis techniques that tell you where to look next as well as what to ask when working with a patient or client.

The etiology and pathology of the disease can tell you where it may be stemming from and where it may be heading.

Asking questions is one of the strong points of an acupuncturist’s diagnostic process. While many of the questions may seem irrelevant to the patient at the time, they help to form a complete picture of the patient which allows for a uniquely suited diagnosis and treatment protocol.

Traditionally the framework for asking diagnosis is the 10 questions:

* Do you feel more Hot, Cold, or have Fever, or Chills?
* Do you have Sweats? Day time or night time or both?
* Head issues: Ears , Eyes, Nose, Throat (HEENT) (pain: sharp/dull. blurriness, discharge, congestion, swelling)
* Pain: Head, Thorax, Abdomen, Below the waist (which part of the body, dull/sharp 0-10)
* Urine: amount, color, smell, Stool: amount, frequency, const/diarr.
* Digestion, Thirst, Appetite, Taste, Diet (no/contstant, hunger, pain, before/after, loss of, eating habits)
* Sleep: difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, nightmares?
* Gynecological ?
* History: (past/present)

* History should include:
* Medical History, past, present
* Constitution, self, parents, family
* Emotional State
* Drug Use – Recreational and Prescription

This is a great start and can give you a great foundation as to the patient’s history. Then, the next step is learning what to do with this information and how you can use your alternative and complementary medicine to help!

Better Diagnosis: Know Your Cranial Nerves

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