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FOUR DIAGNOSTIC METHODS : INSPECTION, OLFACTION, INQUIRY, PALPATION

1) INSPECTION :
a) Observe the Spirit
1. Good Spirit - Bright eyes, normal facial expression indicates the qi is undamaged.  The illness is easy to improve.
2. Bad Spirit - Dull eyes, dark complexion indicates the qi is damaged.  Although no critical signs maybe present, special attention must be paid to.
b) Observe the Tongue
1. Pale Tongue body - Deficiency of qi and blood.
2. Red Tongue body - Heat Syndrome.
3. Purple Tongue body - Impair the qi and blood, bad circulation.
4. Enlarged Tongue body - Water (damp in the body).
5. Cracked Tongue body - Insufficiency of body fluid and extreme heat.
6. Thick Tongue coating - Indicate too much pathogen.
7. Coating from think to thick indicates condition is getting worse.
8. Coating from thick to thin indicates condition is getting better.
9. Peeled coating (mirror-like) indicates insufficiency of Yin and Stomach qi deficient.
10. White Tongue Coating - Exterior and cold syndrome.
11. Yellow Coating - Interior and heat syndrome.
12. Black Coating - Extreme heat or extreme cold is often seen in the critical situation.
2. OLFACTION :
1. Smell patient's breath - halitosis indicates stomach heat.
2. Listen to Voice - Loud voice indicates heat syndrome, Low voice indicates cold syndrome.
Hiccough - No significance if appears in normal but appears in enduring or serious illnes it may say to you goodbye.
3. INQUIRY :
1. Fever and Feel Cold - Belong to exterior syndrome.
2. Fever and Feel Hot - Belong to interior and heat syndrome.
3. Sometimes Cold, Sometimes Hot - Semi-exterior and Semi-interior syndrome.
4. Fever with Sweating - Qi deficient, need nourishment.
5. Fever without Sweating - Too much heat, require sweating.
6. Dark - Coloured Urine - Damp heat.
7. Constipation and Dry Stool - Heat syndrome.
Ask food intake, good appetite in spite of prolonged or serious illness, it shows that stomach qi has no expired, the patient's prospects for recovery are good.
4. PALPATION :
1. Normal Pulse - 3 to 4 beats per respiration; smooth and forceful; not floating, not deep.
2. Floating Pulse - Superficial level (but deficient at the deep) exterior syndrome.
3. Deep Pulse - Interior Syndrome.
4. Slow Pulse - Less than 3 beats per respiration. Cold and Yang deficiency.
5. Rapid Pulse - More than 6 beats per respiration.  Heat syndrome.
6. Slippery Pulse - Dampness in the body.
7. Interrupted Pulse - Insufficiency of the heart qi.
8. Thready Pulse - Insufficiency of qi and blood.
Through above 4 diagnostics methods, it is then summarised into the 8 basic types of the syndrome called 8 principles.