Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Diagnostics
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnostic system is totally different from Western medicine's.
TCM takes into account signs and symptoms from both the body and emotions, including preferences for food tastes, seasons, times of waking, voice quality, body build, temperment and more.
It is indeed a thorough wholistic perspective of our entire organism - not as isolated parts or systems - but as one whole system interacting and manifesting in many ways.
The tongue is used extensively to indicate what is occurring internally inside the body. It is actually an organ of eminimation and thick tongue coats will always indicate some form of inner congestion trying to push its way out of the body. In TCM, this congestion is known as 'dampness'.
A cracked red tongue indicating heat and Yin deficiency
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON TONGUE SIGNS?
A thin pale coat with no cracks, serrations or spots - Indicates a healthy body
A red tip - Heat in Heart (usually an over-active mind, unable to sleep well, talkative, maybe headaches and sore throats)
A red body with cracks indicates Yin deficiency. The more cracks, the more yin deficient. The more red, the more heat is being generated. This indicates a stressed, burnt out condition where people are working on sympathetic NS overdrive. It is likely they find it hard to sleep, get thirsty, hot, dry, tired and irritable.
Wide indentations on side of tongue indicate a Spleen Qi Deficiency. The digestive function is weak. It is likely the person isn't digesting their food properly, they have loose stools, bloating, fullness, feel tired, heavy and lethargic.
There are many more signs.. These are just a few..
The radial pulse at the wrist is felt to gather information about the state of the person. There are 12 pulse positions, 3 on each wrist - one set is deep, the other superficial, and each relates to a specific organ.
Even more important is the pulse quality. As blood vessels are covered by connective muscle tissue, they are prone to having distinct 'flow qualities' depending on the state of the circulation in the body.
A healthy tongue
SOME COMMON PULSE QUALITIES
When there is a tight and wirey pulse, blood flow is constricted, either from cold (tight) or emotional constraint and tension (wirey). A wirey pulse indicates 'Liver Qi stagnation', a condition where the energy and blood is not flowing freely through the Liver meridian, causing hormonal issues, muscle tension and other signs.
A choppy pulse can indicate an obstruction such as a growth or tumor (blood stagnation).
A slippery pulse can be excess congestion (dampness).
A full forceful pulse indicates too much heat (inflammation - sometimes a fever).
A thin weak pulse indicates a deficient state of blood and qi, where the person has little strength, is undernourished and has poor circulation.
Pulse diagnosis is a science that Chinese doctors take nearly a lifetime to master.
French neurologist and acupuncturist Dr. Paul Nogier developed a unique system of assessing when the body had 'normalized' itself during acupuncture treatments by measuring a subtle, yet distinct change or reflex in the quality of the pulse.
This change was due to a change in arterial muscular contraction when the autonomic (parasympathetic) nervous system was activated.
He called this the VAS (Vascular Autonomic Signal), also now known as the Nogier Pulse Reflex.
When applying a therapy, such as auricular acupuncture, the arrival of this reflex signal indicates when the treatment is successful - as it implies the relaxation of blood vessels, the free flow of blood to the organs and deep relaxation- all necessities for healing.
SOME EMOTIONS AND THEIR CORRELATIONS IN TCM DIAGNOSIS
According to Chinese Medicine,
Angry and irritable people usually have liver conditions.
Sad, grief and negativity (pessimism) injures the lungs.
People who think too much (and worry) injure their spleen.
Fear and anxiety injures the kidneys and often manifests in lack of willpower.
People who talk excessively have excess heat in their heart. Heart dominant people are usually loud, boisterous and laugh a lot. If the heart is weak, they will find it hard to feel joy, and have troublesome dreams.