Four Diagnostic Methods

four diagnostic


Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners perform their clinical assessment through four diagnostic methods: Inspection, Listening & Smelling, Inquiring and Palpation.



  • Using visual inspection to observe for any abnormalities in patients’ vitality, complexion, tongue and bodily secretions.


Listening & Smelling

  • To detect any abnormalities in the sounds produced by patients, respiration etc. Attending to odors emitted through patients’ breath, secretions and excretions can help in diagnosing patients’ conditions.



  • Inquiring about observable symptoms or signs and relevant medical history to aid diagnosis of illnesses and progressions.



  • Pathological changes and functions of each organ can be predicted by palpating the pulse and through pressing corresponding body parts.



L.F. Wang, Diagnostic of Traditional Chinese medicine. A newly compiled practical English-Chinese library of Traditional Chinese medicine, Shanghai university of TCM press,2002

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