Diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is done according to the tradition that the acupuncturist has been trained in. The purpose is to be able to select effective acu-points and herbs for the treated condition. In TCM there are four diagnostic methods: visual inspection, auscultation and olfaction, inquiring, and palpation.
Inspection focuses on the appearance, gait, face and particularly on the tongue, including analysis of the tongue size, shape, tension, color and coating, and the absence or presence of teeth marks around the edge.
Auscultation and olfaction refer, respectively, to listening for particular sounds (such as wheezing) and paying attention to odors.
Inquiring is the oral questioning of the condition and states of the patient. Common questions such as: chills and fever; perspiration; appetite, thirst and taste; defecation and urination; pain; sleep.
Palpation includes feeling the body for tender “ashi” points, and palpation of the left and right radial pulses at two levels of pressure (superficial and deep) and three positions Cun, Guan, Chi (immediately proximal to the wrist crease, and one and two fingers breadth proximally, usually palpated with the index, middle and ring fingers).