So begins an e-health series on the amazing ways Chinese healers diagnose what’s ailing you. Their techniques are legendary, ancient, and unique. The information they glean from you creates a picture of what’s wrong. The first technique is observation.
In Chinese medicine, practitioners are looking at you for clues to the state of your health that only they can understand. This is based on wisdom handed down through the ages, dating back to about 500 BC. They understand how, for instance, your kidneys’ health is reflected in your chin, and the heart’s in your forehead. Let’s see what Chinese medicine practitioners are looking for:
1. Vitality: How healthy the skin looks—its color, shine, and luster—is an important point. A strong body will likely have strong internal organs, whereas overly thin people may have deficiencies of yin and blood. Not only is the overall face’s color important, but so is that of certain parts of it. In many areas, a Chinese doctor can ascertain the health of a multitude of organs by looking at your face. Eye redness can suggest a heart problem. A white hue indicates potential problems in the lungs. Itchy skin on the face reflects a liver imbalance. If the lips are blue or purple, this might indicate a blocked flow of blood.
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2. Your Tongue: Chinese doctors examine your tongue’s color, surface, and coating. On your tongue, the kidney, bladder, intestines, stomach, spleen, liver, lungs, heart, and gall bladder are reflected. A healthy tongue is fairly moist and a particular shade of red. If it’s light or pale, you have a deficiency of Qi (life force) and blood. A bluish hue indicates a “coldness” inside your body. Nearly every color and crevice in your tongue means something to a Chinese healer.
3. Facial Expressions: Your facial features will give important information about the state of your mind and emotions. Whether you are happy, sad, anxious, etc., is a consideration for underlying health problems. It’s not just that, though, as the cures and depressions and other features of your nose, mouth, lips, and eyes can all yield crucial evidence as to any imbalances.
4. Appearance of Body: Your body’s makeup—the build, distribution of fat, and hair, for example—are part of any diagnosis. Certain fluxes of energy have difficulty moving through areas of excess fat, for instance, so that would help a Chinese medicine practitioner determine problem areas. Body hair is an interesting one, too; the condition of the hairs reflects lung condition, while premature graying or balding means you have deficiencies in blood and kidney.
Stay tuned for the next installment in our series on how Chinese healers diagnose what’s ailing you.