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Body Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: How to Live a Balanced Life with Traditional Medication

Body Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine

A Guide to the Power of Chinese Medicine to Detect Disease Early and Restore Balance

According to WHO (The World Health Organization), it is estimated that as many as 88% of all countries use traditional medicine. Traditional medicine is a culture-specific medical practice that uses natural products to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness and it includes taking herbal remedies as well as practicing yoga, acupuncture, and indigenous therapies.

According to WHO (The World Health Organization), it is estimated that as many as 88% of all countries use traditional medicine. Traditional medicine is a culture-specific medical practice that uses natural products to diagnose, treat and prevent illness and it includes taking herbal remedies as well as practicing yoga, acupuncture, and indigenous therapies.

Well-known traditional medication systems include traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), traditional Indian (Ayurveda) medicine, and traditional Arabic (Unani) medicine.

Body Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine

Ancient body diagnosis techniques favor a holistic approach that treats the body in its entirety instead of only focusing on the affected body part. The art of body diagnosis in ancient healing strives for personalized health based on body cues.

Central to the philosophy of traditional health diagnostics is the idea that since all body parts are interconnected, if one or more of these parts is not functioning well, it will impact negatively on other body parts. Given the diagnostic complexity of TCM procedures, it is crucial to see a fully qualified practitioner.

For body diagnosis in Chinese medicine, traditional practitioners:

Inspect the patient for abnormalities in the complexion, tongue, vitality levels, and body secretions.

Listen to and smell the patient to detect breathing, respiratory problems, or bad odors in the patient’s secretions.

Inquire about obvious symptoms and the patient’s medical history to help diagnose their problems.

Palpate (feels with the fingers and hands) the patient to help predict illness in body parts. The overall health condition of a person and a particular organ can be diagnosed through pulse palpation at three locations on both wrists. The quality of each type of pulse links to a specific diagnosis and specific physical and emotional symptoms.

Chinese Medicine Pulse Diagnosis

Chinese Medicine Pulse Diagnosis

Pulse Rate

If a person has a fast pulse, it is an indication of too much ‘heat’ in the body which could signal a fever, inflammation, or stress on the nervous system. A slow pulse, on the other hand, is a sign that it may be cold within the body, constraining the flow of blood to the extremities.

Pulse Strength

A strong pulse could indicate an excess of something in the body and this pulse is often present with one or more of the following: high blood pressure, headaches, stress, and anger. A weak pulse is a sign of a “deficiency” of some kind and often goes hand in hand with symptoms such as depression, fatigue, insomnia, weakness, and low blood pressure.

Pulse Width

A thin pulse could be a sign of blood deficiency or fluid deficiency which could indicate fatigue, exhaustion, poor digestive absorption, and nutritional insufficiencies.

Ayurvedic Dosha Diagnosis

The ancient Indian medical system referred to as Ayurveda (which means “the science of life”) originated in India approximately 5,000 years ago. It takes a natural and holistic approach to physical and emotional well-being emphasizing the interconnectedness of the body and mind and maintaining the inner harmony of the individual.

Ayurvedic medicine uses products derived from plants (it may also include mineral, animal, and metal products), and it focuses on the patient’s diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Ayurvedic medicine has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent times as it offers ancient wisdom for modern well-being.

The Three Doshas

The Three Doshas

“Dosha’ is the Sanskrit term for “that which can cause problems”. Everyone has a unique ratio of dosha, with one of the three predominating. When the doshas are in balance, the individual experiences good health, and when they are out of balance, the individual experiences illness.

Since we all have varying energy levels and a different balance of energy, Ayurvedic medication asserts that optimal health is different for each person depending upon their constitution.

If you are not well, Ayurvedic practitioners aim to restore harmony and balance to your physical and emotional state of being by suggesting changes to your diet and lifestyle and prescribing herbal remedies.

Vata Dosha

The vata dosha is made up of the elements of air and ether meaning it has qualities similar to these elements. Like the wind, Vata is light, cool, and dry. People with a predominant vata dosha tend to be light with thin bones and dry hair and skin. When they are ill (out of balance), they may lose weight, experience constipation, and have a compromised immune system.

Remedies include dietary changes to detoxify, practicing yoga, and meditation.

Pitta Dosha

The main elements of the pitta dosha are fire and water. Fire is more predominant, and people with a pitta nature tend to be hot, sharp, and volatile. When out of balance those who have a predominant pitta dosha may experience diarrhea, infections, skin rashes, and weakness in the liver, spleen, and blood.

When those with predominant pitta doshas experience an imbalance, they are prescribed cool spices, sweet herbs, and bitters such as dandelion to temper the heat.

Kapha Dosha

With this dosha, water, and earth elements predominate. Kapha personalities tend to be cool, moist, and stable. When out of balance or ill, they can gain weight and may experience weakness in the lungs and sinuses. When out of balance, kapha may experience depression and lethargy.

In order to bring balance to a kapha dietary changes are prescribed including grains and hot spices such as cayenne pepper.

Tradition versus Modernity

Traditional Medicine uses objects found in nature such as herbs and plants to treat illness, emphasizing lifestyle changes including diet and exercise. Modern medicine relies on scientifically approved and proven diagnostic systems for the treatment of diseases.

Traditional health medicine is often used in developing countries because it’s less expensive than modern medicine. In addition, the practitioners understand the cultural beliefs of the patients and can offer a greater degree of personalized care. The belief that Traditional Chinese Medicine is safe, non-toxic, and free of chemicals is another reason why people prefer it to modern medicine.

Balanced Living in Today’s World

While modern medicine treats specific parts of the body using medication or surgery, body diagnosis in Chinese medicine takes a holistic view, with a focus on a variety of therapeutic measures such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and making changes to one’s lifestyle.

Both methods are effective and by integrating ancient and modern health practices, the synergy derived from both will provide us with a system of powerful healing.

If you are interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine, feel free to book an online consultation today.


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