Diagnoses of Syndromes

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Currently, Traditional Chinese Medicine is regarded as an alternative medicine in America, but it is receiving more and more recognition for its therapeutic abilities towards diseases that cannot be treated with Western methods. That is why I want to explore the medicine of my own heritage. Let meet start off by sharing the four diagnostic methods used by TCM practicioners.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine believes in the holistic health of the human body where every organ system is in coordination with the rest of the body. The approach to diagnosis of disease is to observe the complexion of the face, color and lining of the tongue, radial pulse and smell of the patient.

TCM believes that the outward apperance reflects the internal health. The internal health of the body is understood through external manifestations of the body. This belief differs from the Western practices of anatomical dissections and open surgery.

Four Diagnostic Methods. These methds examine the pathological manifestations that sheds light onto the pathology and ethiology of the syndrome.

1. Inspection.Observation of the Tongue Color and Coating.     

     >> Purple tongue is caused by toxicity. My interpretation is concentrated blood due to dehydration or flow stagnancy manifests as darker blood. This might be created by poor dietary habits and not drinking enough water.

     >> Pink tongue is due to anemia or insufficient blood. My interpretation is inadequate blood will not be able to appear as a red vibrant tongue.

     >> Cracked tongue indicates excessive “heat”. I believe that the aformentioned heat is created by the lack of moisture of the gastrointestinal lining due to dehydration.

     >> Swollen tongue is excerbated by indigestion. My interpretation is the inability to absorb nutrients and the mucous that surrounds the bolus of food keeps the GI tract stagnant and moist. This retention of phelgm may cause bad odor and edema.

2. Auditory and Olfactory Observation.

3. Interrogation. This method is essentially used in Western medicine as well where the inquiry of symptoms from the patient provides insight to psychological and sensory that cannot be observed.

4. Palpation. In Western medicine, the number of radial pulses per minute is counted to assess the health of the heart. In TCM the palpitation and flow of blood reveals much more.

Organ Pairing. The organ systems are connected to others as shown below:

1. Eyes to Liver. My interpretation is that in the cause of jaundice, the yellow bile from liver secretes to the eyes first and then spreads to the rest of the body.

2. Ears to Kidneys. The inner ear houses the vestibular system that coordinates balance and spatial orientation. The movement of the fluid inside the vestibular chamber gives perception of movement in respect to the external environment. The kidneys is in charge of filtration and comes in contact with body fluids.