The Professional Practitioner Of TCM

The professional practitioner of TCM is concerned with his/her patients and their well being. They are treated as names, not numbers. He/she interviews the patient to get an understanding of the person as a whole, rather than just an injured limb or an ache.

The practitioner conducts four examinations to form a diagnosis. One examination is by looking. He/she observes the body, from the skin tone to facial expression and mannerisms, and the tongue. The tongue imparts important information about the internal state of the body, based on colour, appearance and coating.

Listening is the second examination. The he/she listens actively to the patient's story and history, also considering the patient's voice, manner of speech and use of language.

The third examination focuses on the senses of smell and taste. The practitioner might inquire about body odours and tastes, which can be signs of heat, toxicity or digestive problems.

The final examination is by touching. The pulse is taken to determine the patient's heart rate, rhythm and strength, and to identify the class of pulse.

The pulse is classified at least twenty-eight different ways, and reveals some of the internal conditions of the patient. He/she might touch the body, to detect sensitivity in a particular area, and to feel for tone, temperature or any abnormality.