Facial and Body Diagnosis in TCM Acupuncture 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withdrawn/slow movements tend towards qi a/or yang def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

Sources and More Information

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience.

For a complete list of valuable resources, see our (TCM) Chinese Acupuncture Resources section. The most recommended texts are below: