General Health Appointments, What Exactly Does That Mean?
Have a think back to when you last went to your General Practitioner (GP) for something…
- Were you sick with a cold and in need of a medical certificate?
- Did you perhaps injure yourself enough to warrant a clinic trip, but not quite a hospital trip?
- Maybe you developed some sort of infection from who-knows-where and of course, you know that you needed that antibiotic script?
- Were you looking at getting on a contraceptive pill or device, or maybe changing up the one you were already on?
- Or had you taken the brave step of going to speak to someone about your mental health issues and gotten yourself a mental health plan?
For many of us, we are brought up in a way where we would never venture to a doctors clinic unless we are sick, sore, sad, sniffly, suffering, stinging, or squeamish. We also wouldn’t go to a doctor’s clinic for what some would consider ‘mild’ signs and symptoms.
What’s considered mild to one person can definitely be catastrophic for others, but in general most will do their best to self medicate or ignore the mild nigglings going on in their body.
And that isn’t technically a bad thing… GPs can be overrun and overbooked at the best of times. It may not be ideal to head to the doctor every time you get a small paper cut or have that single headache you get once a year randomly.
Issues Patients Might Try Ignoring
There’s no shame in going to the GP for help. Sometimes though, we get hit with mild issues that might not be making life super hard, but they can be pretty annoying.
- sweating a bit too often
- bloating after some meals but not others
- headaches that come before a period
- middle to lower back ache with no history of an accident or trauma
- cold hands or feet or both which you can’t just heat
- waking up between 1am and 3am every night
- slightly constipated or early morning diarrhoea
- those damn eye floater things
- ringing in your ears
- fluttering in your chest every now and again
- sometimes feeling a little blue
- dry and flaky skin
This is where Chinese Medicine Comes In
Chinese Medicine theory of diagnosis is in-depth and looks at all different things your body could be up to.
During a Chinese Medicine consultation, we’ll ask questions to find out things like:
- if you prefer warmer weather or are you a lover of the cold weather
- if you are thirsty most of the time or maybe can never properly quench your thirst
- how much you sweat
- questions on your bowel movements and urinary habits (nocturnal bathroom trips perhaps?)
- pain in the body – where, when, how, what does it feel like
- your sleeping habits and patterns
- everything possible to know about your menstrual history
- everything possible to know about any headaches you get (including that one random one per year)
We will also ask you a set of questions that we feel don’t come up enough in chats with your GP, your emotions. Not just the ‘bad’ ones, but swings, highs and lows.
All these ‘mild’ signs and symptoms are big deals to your Chinese Medicine practitioner, because they can link together in ways that just don’t really make sense to Western Medicine.
How your Yin & Yang, Energy (Qi) & Blood (Xue) can link to different symptoms
- Thirst, insomnia, hot flushes at night, heat in your palms could equal Yin deficiency.
- Cold limbs, aching lower back and knees, low libido could mean Yang deficiency.
- Lethargy, cold hands, bloating, slow bowels may be Qi deficiency.
- Dry skin, painful periods, difficulting concentrating, stiff neck might be Xue deficiency.
It isn’t exactly that straight forward, but knowing all these small details helps your Chinese Medical Practitioner to piece together what is really going on.
We don’t see period pain, we see 5 different possible diagnoses for it. We just need to know a bit more, dig a little deeper, like a detective. Sometimes even you will be surprised with the questions your Chinese Medicine Doctor will come up with.
We’re often asked ‘how did you know that?’ Years of training to become a Chinese Medicine Doctor, that’s how!
So What Does It All Mean?
Well it means that Chinese Medicine is just as helpful as a preventative medicine, as it is an action based medicine.
Coming to see us before these ‘mild’ issues start to build up and turn into ‘not so mild’ issues could help save a lot of time, energy, and expendiges. It also means that you don’t have to put up with all the little niggling signs and symptoms that may be brushed off by a GP.
Life Doesn’t Have To Be Uncomfortable!
You don’t have to live an uncomfortable life just because an issue doesn’t seem worthy of time and testing in the eyes of Western Medicine.
You don’t need to wait until things become worse to receive help for it.
Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, gua sha, cupping, lifestyle and Chinese dietary advice is there to be used to help keep you balanced. Not just when you are sick.
Need a second (or even first) opinion on something about your general health that’s bothering you?
We’ll work with you to not only relieve your initial discomfort, but help to resolve the issue for you at its origin.
Please Keep In Mind…
We are not suggesting any of the mentioned symptoms are not worth medical attention. This blog article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This is purely a generalised blog article.
Written by guest Author: Dr Alice Morgan