The first time you consult a TCM practitioner, you may be stumped by the questions the practitioner asks about your health. Questions like “do you feel thirsty?”, “do you feel hungry very easily?”, “how is your urination?” etc. may appear strange and unrelated to your condition at first.
However, in TCM, these seemingly insignificant details are actually common indicators of one’s health, and can be used together with other diagnosis methods to better understand the patient’s body condition. Nevertheless, some patients may be unaware of the importance of these indicators and may not have noticed them in their everyday lives.
Therefore, in this article, we would like to share with you several such indicators that you can observe, in order for you and your TCM practitioner to understand more about your health.
1) Mood or emotions
In TCM, it is believed that one’s emotions can affect one’s internal organs, and changes in one’s internal organs can affect our emotional output. For example, mental stress and worry can often affect the liver and spleen, which can lead to problems with Qi circulation and digestive issues. Fire in the liver can also result in a bad temper.
Therefore, it is good to look out for any long term tendency or recent changes in your mood or emotions.
Here are a few examples:
Do you feel easily frustrated or irritable?
Do you often feel stressed?
Do you have a hot temper?
Do you often feel sad or downcast?
The above questions may help your TCM practitioner understand the cause of your ailment or deduce which organ could be affected.
Our urine is a good indicator of several aspects of our health, such as the heatiness / coolness of our body and how well our body regulates fluids. Since urine is most closely associated with the bladder and kidneys, it can also highlight the health status of these organs.
For example, frequent clear urination may indicate a lack of Yang energy in the kidneys.
Some things to observe about your urine include:
Any pain or unusual sensations?
Stools are great at revealing the state of one’s health, particularly that of the intestines and spleen. For example, loose watery stools may point to a weak spleen and a poorer digestive system. Sticky stools may signify the presence of damp-heat in the body.
Do not be afraid to observe your stools and tell your TCM practitioner what it is like, as such information can be useful for diagnosis.
Things you can take note of:
How often do you pass motion?
Characteristic of the stools
Is there any difficulty in passing motion?
Is it hard, watery or sticky?
Is there any unusual colouration, e.g. very yellowish, very black and tarry, red spots etc.?
Is there any unusual odour?