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Chinese Medical Diagnosis

Chinese medicine has developed over the course of more than three thousand years in relative isolation. As a result, it has its own very unique system of diagnosis.


A typical visit involves the practitioner asking a (sometimes long) list of questions. You will be asked, in depth, about the nature of your illness, your medical history, and your lifestyle and diet.

No diagnosis would be complete without consideration of your individual diet and lifestyle. Most people are unaware of how damaging some basic daily habits can be, especially over the course of a lifetime.

In addition, observation of the tongue and analysis of the pulse play an important role in accurate diagnosis.

Tongue Diagnosis

Tongue diagnosis gives the practitioner a deeper understanding of what is going on internally. Some of the things we take note of are the colour of the tongue body, the quality of the tongue coating, its shape, and the presence of any cracks or other markings. These all help to indicate how well the internal systems are functioning.

A normal healthy tongue is moist and relaxed, it is a fresh pink colour, and has a very thin white coat. Deviations from this ideal tongue can indicate ill health.

Pulse diagnosis

Pulse diagnosis is arguably the most important diagnostic tool. There are a number of positions for feeling the pulse along an artery that runs through each wrist. Each position represents a different group of organs, so, as with tongue diagnosis, an indication of the location of the illness can be gained.

The pulse is assessed for various qualities. There are about 30 commonly recognised qualities with names such as Slippery, Wiry, Flooding, Choppy, Soft, Leathery and Leisurely. These all alert the practitioner to deviations from the normal healthy balances between the organ systems.