Jacques Bernou L.Ac.
A licensed Chinese medicine practitioner uses a complex system of differential diagnosis to pin point the root cause of your illness. When you arrive for your first treatment you will be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire about your main complaints and your current and past health history. Your acupuncturist will then ask you some questions, observe your facial coloring, look at your tongue, read your pulse and possibly perform other diagnostic tests if necessary. Pulse and tongue reading are two very important diagnostic tools of the Chinese medical practitioner. Your acupuncturist will then use this information to come up with a diagnosis of the imbalances in your body which are causing your illness and a treatment plan to alleviate them.
Each person is a unique individual with a unique set of experiences and a unique lifestyle. Acupuncturists take that into consideration when formulating a treatment plan for a patient. A western named disease, Asthma for example, can have many root causes. All asthmatics are treated with the identical drugs by a Medical Doctor. The drugs are not designed to alleviate the disease but only alleviate symptoms. A mass produced drug cannot possibly take into consideration individual factors such as: health history, lifestyle, genetics, diet, stress, emotional factors or environmental factors.
A patient with asthma would undergo a differential diagnosis by her acupuncturist to pinpoint the root cause of her disease. All of those factors would be taken into consideration. Of 10 people diagnosed with Asthma it is quite possible that all 10 would receive a different acupuncture treatment and herbal prescription because all 10 people are unique and could have a different underlying condition which is causing the symptoms named “Asthma”. Differential diagnosis and individualized treatment is one of the main reasons why Chinese Medicine is so effective.
Acupuncture originated in ancient China many centuries ago. Along with Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture is presently one of the world's main disciplines of primary medical care; serving more than one fourth of the world's population. It is a very precise method of balancing, regulating and strengthening the life force of the human body; called Qi (pronounced chee). Acupuncturists recognize particular pathways called "channels or meridians" through which Qi circulates throughout the body. The channels connect all of the internal organs with the rest of the body and provide a constant flow of energy to every cell. When imbalances or blockages arise in a persons energy system due to stress, injury, over exertion, over eating or any other reason; pain and illness can result. Acupuncturists use these channels for diagnosis and treatment. Inserting needles, massaging or applying heat to the channels and acupuncture points can promote healing, increase circulation, stop pain, reduce inflamation, strengthen one's constitution, regulate and improve the function of the internal organs, build up the immune system, calm the mind and produce a feeling of well being and peace.
Herbal medicine is by itself a powerful method of healing. Western drugs are usually used to control symptoms but do not alter the disease process. For example: antibiotics kill bacteria but do not improve a person's resistance to infection; diuretics drain excess fluid from the body but do not improve the kidney function. Chinese herbs can also rid the body of disease but they also nourish and balance the body in very specific ways, thereby improving organ function and building up a person's constitution and immune system.