Chinese medicine is over 2,000 years old but has retained relevance to healing humankind today. Chinese medicine has a different perception of the body, uses different terminology and different methodology compared to Western medicine but still offers a reasonable and effective response for treatment of disease. In certain cases it offers a different perspective and fresh solution to medical problems compared to what western medicine has to offer. Western medicine follows a biomedical perspective, which is concerned with zeroing in on, isolating, and trying to change, control or destroy agents of disease. In comparison, Chinese medicine investigates the complete physiological and psychological individual in reference to the medical concern a patient presents in a visit. A Chinese physician uses diagnostic technique, taking the whole picture into consideration, to come up with a pattern of disharmony, which describes the situation of imbalance in a patient. Then based on this pattern of disharmony, an acupuncture treatment and/or oriental herbal treatment will be formulated to help balance the patient and correct the pattern of disharmony, so the state of disease is resolved.
Things to expect that are different from Western medical appointment are an in depth history of current and past medical issues, investigation of current labs, physical examination of current medical concern, and pulse and tongue diagnosis.
(The Web That Has No Weaver, Understanding Chinese Medicine, Ted J. Kaptchuk, O.M.D., 2000)