Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is getting a lot of attention nowdays and surprisingly, more and more people are using it to treat a wide range of illnesses. What's more interesting is that, TCM practitioners have different ways of diagnosing a disease. These are steps on how TCM practitioners diagnose diseases.
1. Visual Inspection
This process starts immediately as soon as the patient enters the consultation room. The TCM practitioner will check the patient's spirit while observing his body changes, face, hair eyes, nose, mouth, lips, teeth, gums, throat, ears, nails, ankles, wrists and general appearance or demeanours.
The short term body changes which need to be examined include skin changes, stiffness or weakness of the tendons as well as muscle changes. The long term body changes include hair loss, muscle issues, being overweight and weight issues.
Face coloring will also be checked and the hair will be examined as it is directly related to the blood or kidney jing. Meanwhile, TCM practitioner can determine the condition of the ancestral essence (jing) and spirit (shen) just by looking through the eyes of the patient. The nose is said to be related with the stomach and spleen. If there are discharges, the color and quality of discharge can determine the condition of these organs.
Teeth are checked to identify issues with the kidneys while the gums are for the stomach. Meanwhile, the color, discharge and skin tone of the ears can also help in diagnosing certain conditions. If the patient is suffering from stasis or any blood deficiency, it can be seen through his nails. The color and firmness of the ankles and wrists can also help in determining the condition of the fluids in the body.
After the visual inspection, the practitioner will now proceed to interview section.
2. Interviewing the Patient
The practitioner needs to ask several important questions to the patient to diagnose the patient's condition clearly and accurately. More often the not, the patient will be asked if it is his first time to undergo TCM consultation. The answers of the patient will be the basis for the treatment and best results are guaranteed especially when the patient gives honest answers.
The patient's voice is an excellent indicator of his condition. Breathing patterns, hoarseness of the voice and the sound of the voice are thoroughly examined by the practitioner to determine the patient's health condition.
Odours can indicate health issues. For instance, chronic bad breath may signify stomach heat.
5. Tongue Diagnosis
Together with pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis are one of the most important TCM diagnostic tools. The coloration, size, coating, coat root, cracks, shape, body moisture and features of the tongue are thoroughly checked. The tongue is said to be directly located to various internal organs in the body and it contains a special connection with the heart.
The tip of the tongue represents the heart while the part behind the heart area represents the lungs. The edge of the sides of the tongue represents the gall bladder and the liver. Meanwhile, the center of the tongue corresponds to the stomach and the spleen. Behind the central area lies the part which stands for the intestines, bladder and kidneys.
How Does A Normal Tongue Appear
Usually, a normal tongue has pinkish or light red color which contains a light white coating. It is not too thick or thin and it does not have cracks. Also, it does not appear puffy or bloated and it has a smooth appearance.
After the practitioner has checked the general appearance of the sentence which includes its coatings, color, cracks and spots, he will then take a look at the parts of the sentence which represent certain organs. The color of the tongue is said to be related with the general functioning of the immune system, internal organs and the blood health. The shape represents the flow of energy and body fluids.
Pulse Diagnosis- An Excellent Diagnostic Tool
Checking the pulse also helps in diagnosing certain health conditions. It can interpret a person's constitution which includes the Qi, blood, yin and yang. There are actually 27 pulse states and 6 positions for pulse diagnosis. Three of which are located on the left wrist and the other 3 are located on the right wrist.