In part two of this series on how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners diagnose your health problems (click here for part one), we investigate how a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner will see how your odor and your sound can illustrate what’s wrong with your health. These two senses are of paramount importance in you receiving the best health advice.
Your voice and breathing patterns are directly linked to your lungs and flow of Qi, the life force within your body. If your voice is strong, loud, and assertive, there is a healthy flow of Qi, and possibly more yang than yin in your body. On the other hand, a timid or weak voice is the opposite, suggesting a deficiency in Qi and more yin than yang. Yin and yang are considered complementary elements within the body.
The heart and the liver are also linked to speech. The smoother you speak, the better their function. Halting speech, or an inability to speak, reflect problems with this muscle and organ. Also the kind of sounds you make, whether it is laughing, crying, singing, shouting, groaning, or tone and pitch of voice, all show the practitioner something important about the root of your condition, and the balance of elements in your life.
As for respiration, if you are restless and a heavy breather, it indicates what’s known as an “excess” condition. Shallow breathing indicates a “deficient” condition. They may have you cough as well, as the sound of this sharp noise will show the level of phlegm in the lungs.
How about smell? In China, every doctor will smell a patient in certain places to help with diagnosis. The body’s natural smell can give important information about a patient. It takes years of practice for a doctor to get this one down pat.
A strong smell usually suggests heat in the body, while an absence of smell suggests cold. If smells are rancid, rotten, strong, or fishy, it will indicate different things. TCM practitioners are interested in the overall body scent, your breath, and the smell of your stool and urine. Smell doesn’t lie: it is a direct indicator of illness.