The Eastern Diagnostic Frame Pt 1

Eastern Medical Diagnosis is based on information gleaned from questioning, palpation, listening, looking and smelling. Once information is gathered it is considered within the framework of several models. 

These models may include, the Eight Principles, The Five Elements, The Six Divisions, The Chinese Clock and Channel theory. Each treatment then is based on an individualised approach which takes into account both your constitution and lifestyle, as well as the nature of your presenting disease or condition.

Highly trained and experienced practitioners of East Asian Medicine have several particularly unique, gentle and non-invasive diagnostic methods to use in identifying the patterns of disharmony which may be affecting your health. These may include:

To build and confirm a complete picture, a practitioner may need to know about such things as: your life-style & habits, past medical history, the existence of physical sensations, and any symptoms of body function which have changed from normal such as: pain, sweating, appetite, thirst, sleep, urine and stools, and for women, gynaecology.

It is also important that a practitioner knows about any medications you may be taking.


Palpation: “Reading the Braille of the Body”...
Palpation - 'diagnosis by touch' -  is one of the most pleasant methods of diagnosis, because you will often begin to feel better straight away. The body contains such innate intelligence, and wise touch engages immediately with this inner resource, helping to awaken your own healing capacities. The flesh carries a record of past events, conditions and body functions - and this can be read by skilled fingers, in much the same way as a blind person reads a book of Braille.

Various areas on the surface of the body, such as the back and the abdomen (Hara), and the lower arms and legs, may be observed - for things such as: temperature, tension, weakness, moisture - and gently assessed for any significant changes throughout the system.

Feeling of the Pulses:
Subtle changes in the Qi or Energy can be observed by palpating or feeling the pulse at the wrists. The changes in the pulse can be quite remarkable over the course of a disease and during the restoration of health. The pulse is one of the best indicators during treatment of internal changes which occur in response to the methods being used.


Skin signs, colours and certain lines on the surface, especially in the face, and along the main meridian pathways of the abdomen, back, arms and legs may be used for visual diagnosis.

The colour, shape and coating of the tongue holds enormous information for the trained eye about the state of health of the internal organs. The tongue acts as kind of weather-vane throughout the progress of a disease and during recovery.