Facial and Body Diagnosis in TCM Acupuncture Theory

TCM Theory

The strength of Chinese medicine lies within its ability to look at a variety of signs and symptoms and come to a more precise diagnosis of underlying conditions. While the pulse and the tongue are the two principle diagnostic tools in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), looking at the colors and qualities in a persons body and face provides valuable diagnostic information.

Body Diagnosis - Shape, Demeanor and Indications

Body Shape/Demeanor


muscular/strong tend towards excess
overweight tend towards dampness
sp qi deficiency
abrubt/jerky movements wind
active movements tend towards yang conditions
withdrawn/slow movements tend towards qi a/or yang def
hunched over upper jiao def

Facial Diagnosis - Colors and Indications

Facial Colors


white cold or def
dull white blood def
bright white qi or yang def
yellow excess damp or sp def
orange/yellow damp heat
red heat
+ whole face = excess
+ mallor flush = yin def
blue/green (quin) lv qi a/or blood stagnation
black/dark kd def or blood stagnation

Skin Diagnosis - Qualities and Indications

Skin Quality


moist and clear better prognosis
dry and lifeless poorer prognosis

Eye Diagnosis - Qualities and Indications

Eye Qualities


dull expression shen disturbance
unconscious movement wind
red/congested color lv qi stagnation a/or wind-heat

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