Traditional Diagnosis in Modern Chinese Medicine – Dr Eli Thomas BAppSc (Chinese Medicine) BAppSc (Human Biology)

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“Can you please stick out your tongue?”


That’s a common phrase you might hear when visiting your Acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner.


Most people find this request amusing, awkward, weird, and sometimes even rude! But to a Chinese medicine practitioner this is a routine part of our diagnostic procedures.


You see, Chinese medicine developed at a time in history when there were no blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI’s, hair & saliva testing, or any of the modern medical diagnostics we have available these days. The doctors of Ancient China learnt to assess their patients’ state of health using methods that were available to them: their sense of sight, hearing, touch, and smell. They learnt to do this with such subtly and accuracy that this has been handed down from generation to generation and is still being taught in universities and Chinese Medicine colleges today.


We look at your tongue – the shape, the colour, the coating, the texture and the veins underneath – which all help form a picture of what is going on internally in the organs, fluids, and structures of the body


We take your pulse – usually at the wrists – feeling the strength, speed, and quality of the flow of blood around your body


We palpate (medical term for touch) the abdomen – assessing for vitality, body tension and temperature


And we smell your feet. Just kidding! There are general ‘odours’ described in Chinese Medicine that relate to different personality types – kind of like Myers Briggs for your health predispositions, and how your favourite clothes smell like ‘you’.


Depending on the school or lineage of Chinese Medicine these techniques can vary, so each practitioner you see may do this process a little differently.


So does this mean we can identify everything that is going on for you and even predict your fortune? Not usually! We use this information together with the questions we ask you, your medical information and any modern test results to provide as clear and realistic a treatment plan as possible.


Well there we have it. Who needs a fit-bit when you have an Acupuncturist?!


Traditional Diagnosis in Modern Chinese Medicine - Dr Eli Thomas BAppSc (Chinese Medicine) BAppSc (Human Biology) 3


Eli is available for consultation at Mornington Chinese Medicine on Friday’s.

To book please call us on ph: 5973 6886