In my years of training I've kept medical records on everyone I've treated either in the clinic or in their home. It is rare when I don't. Most practitioners I have met do the same. So I'm surprised at your comment. I totally agree with the comments by Chad above so I'm not going to comment on the specifics already covered. We were taught in school which the average to completion was 5 years after their undergraduate work. I'm sure there are exceptions but the majority of people I meet keep records. The one good acupuncturist who didn't and I filled out his paper work for him. I found that he knew the patient's history and medical record better than I could ever fill out. He had that type of a mind. I don't.
I am a computer scientist who pioneered the field of bio informatics at a time when it did not exist. We found the first Asthma gene. We had the same problems with diagnosis working with doctors who often found opposite strategies for the same disease. We found that to make any progress in finding genes that we had to pay attention to the pattern of the disease. Classic example was asthma and differentiating a swollen throat closing up from bronchial inflammation closing it off. Two different doctors describing the same "disease" with two separate mechanisms. That is what I love about Chinese Medicine because they deal with patterns of health.
I found in school a common phrase among the Chinese practical phrases ... one disease many treatments, one treatment many diseases. Many like me do not discuss the various Chinese diagnosis with the patient ... but I write them down each time and follow the wonderful world of boolean logic in this medicine for treatment.
Now, what I'm hearing from you is many practitioners, different diagnosis across them. Well, diagnosis is the hardest thing to get right in any medical community. Fortunately, if we help the body in any way it seems to get better. What I loved about clinic in school is that we had multiple people there zeroing in together on what was the problem. I miss that so I keep working in a wellness clinic where we can rub shoulders and check on each other.
Does it work? Do we get results? I would think that is your best question. By the way, I read many questions into your statement. Thank you for asking. We can always use more dialogue. My patients tell me it works. I don't tell them. And I listen very carefully to what is working. And like the president of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine once said to me, always diagnose. It is the key to being able to see what treatment works and when. If you treat from your diagnosis then when things work, you begin to make the connection. It makes this medicine repeatable.
From my perspective then it makes sense Gui Zhr Fu Ling Wan across two different "diseases" because the health pattern being addressed may be the same. Herbs have actions and combine in unique ways according to how they are prepared and combined so the same formula can have a different preparation and result. One learns these in various texts like the Materia Medica and books on preparation, on classic formulas, and on herb combining. Today many herbalists treat viral and bacterial infections. Some treat parasites. Some treat colds, flu, and serious conditions. I know I have.
I was introduced to Chinese Medicine in 1973 in Chile when I came down with amoebic dysentery and found myself getting and weaker and weaker from medical treatment and nobody I talked to seemed to get over it. So I simply asked around for someone who had gotten better. I used the same Chinese herbalist and his use of a classic Chinese formula completely got rid of it in three months.
I think the biggest question for all of us to ask every day is ... is it working? The more I ask others who work in this field, the more I find for them and me that it is working.