History of Acupuncture as preventative medicine
In ancient China a first class physician was one who could not only cure disease but could also prevent disease. Only a second class physician had to wait until his patient become ill so that he could then treat them when there obvious symptoms and signs. It is for this reason that the doctor was paid by the patient when he was healthy and the payment was stopped when he was ill. This was so much that the doctor had to give the patient free of cost the medicines required medicines that he, the doctor, had paid for out of his own pocket.
To administer medicines to diseases which have already developed and to suppress revolts which have already developed is comparable to the behavior of those persons who begin to dig a well after they have become thirsty, and of those who begin to make their weapons after they have already engaged in battle. Would these actions not be too late?
Pulse diagnosis in preventative acupuncture
This type of preventative medicine is based in acupuncture on the pulse diagnosis, which presents in its early stages, rather the entelechy of disease then the disease itself
Pulse diagnosis is a certain indication of preclinical disease. A little consideration will show that before a disease develops with physical signs and objective findings, there will be, for months or years beforehand, some physiological disturbance that is too slight to cause overt symptoms. But even at this stage, the pulse registers a definite abnormality.
A practitioner skilled in its practice would-without ever speaking to or seeing the face or body of his patient and with no more contact than a hand to radial artery of the wrist- be able to arrive at a reliable diagnosis in a matter of minutes.
It can be used to confirm a diagnosis already arrived at by clinical and laboratory methods. It can be of very great benefit in a case where, although the patient is obviously ill, it has not been possible to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis in spite of thorough clinical and laboratory investigations. It is so sensitive method of diagnosis that not infrequently it will register past illnesses so accurately that a doctor is in a position to recount past history of his patient's health and to warn him of illness to be expected in future, whether it be in several months or in several years time.
The acupuncturist will at this stage treat the patient, using acupuncture points dictated to him solely by the pulse diagnosis.
For preventative medicine of this type to be effective, the patient must, of course, see practitioner at regular intervals which is the same interval at which one should visit a dentist. One additional advantage of this preventative routine is that the whole general level of health is maintained at higher level. It can give not only the absence of disease, but positive feeling of wellbeing with an abundance of physical and mental energy. For preventative acupuncture to be effective, the initial treatment must have been successful, so they pulse has become normal. It may not be possible to completely cure someone who has been ill for many years; though the patient may say he is cured as he has no symptoms. In this case pulse will still show a slight abnormality which cannot be corrected. In this type preventative acupuncture is only partially effective. If the patient had been seen earlier, preventative acupuncture would have been fully effective
So why pulse is so important in acupuncture diagnostic?
Historically patients visiting the doctor were giving him different symptoms of what they were feeling. So it was very quick way to see if the physician is skillful or not.
It doesn’t mean that patients today are going to lie. Often they explain they subjective interpretation of sickness or disease and practitioner needs to translate it to the medical language of symptoms. This interpretation and translation may produce many diagnoses, that physician later need differentiate.
Pulse from other hand gives more precise, objective information of condition, so acupuncturist may confirm his or her suspicions asking exact questions avoiding unnecessary avalanche of symptoms. It creates more positive and trusting atmosphere between patient and practitioner, helps patients realize that practitioner clear see and understand condition.
Secondly pulse diagnostic can show exact nature of disease, location in meridian, excess or deficiency, and properly written it can show also development of condition during the treatment and give possibility for prognosis.
What is PulseMap?