Here’s a distinction:
People go to their doctor for A) check ups and B) when something is wrong.
People go to Chinese Medicine for the same reasons, but they often walk out with more resolution than just the “Chief Complaint.”
People have two main approaches to their health.
1) I go to the doctor when something is wrong.
2) I go to the doctor to improve my health and well being.
If you care for having a well functioning body and mind so that you can live the life you want to live, you better get yourself moving into the second of those two categories.
If you go to the doctor (whether Chinese or Western) to improve your health and well being, you must understand that everything that is a part of you and your life is relevant to diagnosing your current state of health. Although, it is Chinese Medicine that tends to seek out the following information, not Western Medicine.
How do you cope with stress? Are you in law school? Are you engaged? Do you take public or private transportation? Do you eat big or small dinners? What are your hobbies? What is your profession? Are you married? Do you have kids? What do your bowel movements look like? How is your sleep? Do you sweat profusely? How is your appetite? Do you have bad breath? How is your emotional level? etc.
If you fall into the firs category, your mind will have a different focus as you prepare to see the doctor. You’ll prepare a list of what’s bothering you as relates to that one single issue. So if you have an ingrown toenail you’ll tell the doc all about the toenail and how you tried to handle it on your own, and it’s red, and painful, and you can’t wear shoes.
What a world of difference on so many levels.