Traditional ” Eight Principles ” assessment of the pulses, tongue and other physical examinations leading to a classical diagnosis of the state of harmony of the organs and vital systems so that Chinese herbal remedies and authentic acupuncture can be applied effectively.
Chinese Diagnosis by Pulses and Tongue
All Chinese herbs and all acupuncture points are classified by the Eight Principles. These are hot or cold, yin or yang, interior or exterior, and excess or deficient. These can be broken down into more detail. Some variations include upward-acting or downward-acting, tonifying or dispersing, dry or damp, firm or empty. Though it may at first seem very odd, millions of doctors using this style on billions of people over thousands of years have come up with very practical answers to very difficult problems.
It is a powerful method to understand how the organs and systems in the body all work together, and how they are coping with a disease.
The traditional Chinese medicine doctor will ask the Ten Questions, about, pain, sleep, digestion, temperature, etc. Next the pulse at each wrist is carefully felt, with three fingers. The texture is noted with light, medium and heavy pressure, and described at each level as one of 110 possible qualities! In a healthy person is the same elastic and regular pulse at each position. If there is any difference from one point to another this is a sign of imbalance in the organ or its acupuncture meridian. The first spot near the right wrist crease tell about the lungs and large intestine, the next about the stomach and pancreas, and so forth.
Now the doctor will look at the tongue. The color of the coating, its evenness, the size, cracks or defects in the flesh, and other variations are considered. The tongue is less diagnostic than the pulses, but it especially helps refine the hot /cold and dry/damp issues. Finally the nails, lines on the face, odor, coloring, tone of voice, and the belly may be examined to confirm the findings.
So, for example, if your acupuncturist says you have a hot liver and a deficient spleen, and your liver is invading your stomach – don’t laugh, cheer! You now have several very practical strategies to cure your stomachache that comes with anger or stress! The language is old and a little strange to the Western ear, but it is very wise medicine. The treatment will take into consideration how you as an individual are dealing with the problem, and will draw from your strengths to treat your weaknesses.
Using your own internal healing powers, health is restored as harmony is created.