What’s Your Diagnosis?

What happens when you are not feeling well and symptoms occur? You go to the doctor to get a diagnosis. The word diagnosis comes from the Latin  DIA- thorough or complete  and –gnosis meaning knowledge. So the actual meaning of diagnosis is “a thorough or complete knowledge”. That is far from what most people are receiving today as many “diagnoses” in western medicine are no more of a description of a condition. Examples would be conditions such as arthritis (inflammation of a joint), fibromyalgia (pain in the muscles), and hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure).

The problem is that none of the common diagnoses ever address the root cause of the problem. And without a proper diagnosis, it is impossible to do anything other than relieve symptoms. Often patients will ask me if they are taking the right supplements or herbs. A better example is my family and friends who ask for nutritional/herbal advice at Christmas parties or gatherings. The fact is that without a diagnosis, it is impossible for me to answer any questions. If I do, it is no better than prescribing a drug like ibuprofen for a headache..

In the practice of Integrative Natural medicine, a system I have been developing for over a decade, when we render a diagnosis, it is not something you will get from a mainstream doctor. It is not a label nor quickly determined without a thorough work-up (remember the meaning of diagnosis). Our diagnosis is developed by finding the root cause, which includes an assessment of the following functions:

Nervous system– the communication of the autonomic function of brain to body

Organ Function– digestion, absorption, heart/lung function and detox organs

Qi/Blood circulation– NOT invisible energy, but oxygen and blood nutrition to the cells and tissues

Hormonal status– endocrine hormones, brain hormones and sex hormones like progesterone and testosterone

Inflammation– the root of many conditions involving pain and dysfunction

Toxicity– both the body’s ability to remove toxins or any accumulation of toxins

Nutritional status– having adequate vitamins, minerals, amino acids and vital nutrients such as essential fats, proteins, fiber and antioxidants.

This is not as difficult as it may look and we have perfected the ability to assess almost half these functions with just our in-house testing. A few functional tests can handle the rest, if needed.  It is thorough, individualized and targeted. The fact is, any practitioner who gives you herbs, supplements or any prescribed treatment without a proper diagnosis is making an educated guess and this could result in not getting complete results or treatment failure.

Dr. Kenneth Hoffman, DACM, L.Ac., Medical Director
SOPHIA Natural Health Center

Ken Hoffman is a Doctor of Acupuncture and a specialist in Natural Medical Care. In 1991, he began private training under the tutelage of a Taoist medical and Qi gong master where he began learning the art of Chinese healing. This culminated in a sabbatical to Taiwan, where he lived and studied Chinese healing arts in Chi Nan Temple. He then completed a 4 year Chinese medical school program with an internship at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY. His post-graduate specialties included study with some the best doctors in functional medicine where he focused on the integration of western bio-medicine, including blood chemistry analysis, endocrinology and the use of Medical Infrared Thermography. He has performed more than 18,000 acupuncture treatments on over 7,000 patients since starting his practice which has now grown into the busiest clinic of its kind in the state of Connecticut. The system of Medicine he has founded, Integrative Natural Medicine, is a unique blend of his years of experience and combines the best of eastern medicine and modern functional medical sciences. He is the host of the local radio show, “The Natural Medicine Connection” on 800 AM WLAD. It is the only show of its kind in Fairfield County focused on an integrative holistic approach to health. He is also co-author of the book “Essential Remedies for Women’s Health” a compendium of health advice and information specifically for women’s issue.


The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment will vary. SOPHIA Natural Health Center does not guarantee certain results.

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