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Four Methods
Looking Listening Asking Palpation/Pulse
TCM Pulse/Tongue
Tongue Diagnosis Pulse Diagnosis 29 Pulse Images Pulse Indication Table
Treatment Methods
11 Tx Methods
TCM Patterns
8 Principles Qi, Blood, Body Fluids Zang Fu Patterns Six Stages Four Levels San Jiao
General TCM
General Symptoms Yin Yang Table
TCM Gynecology
Early Menses Late Menses Irregular Menses Heavy Menses Scanty Menses Extended Menses Bleeding Between Menses Amenorrhea Dysmenorrhea Flooding and Trickling Associated Symptoms

General Symptoms and Their Meaning in TCM

Colors of the Face

- Red (Excess or Xu Heat)
  • Whole Face
Heat from External Evil or Hyperactivity of Zang Fu (Excess)
  • Cheeks, Tidal Fever, Night Sweats
Internal Heat (Xu)
- Pale (Cold or Loss of Blood)
  • Pale White
Yin Excess or Yang Xu
  • Bright White with Puffy and Bloated Appearance
Yang Qi Xu
  • Withered White
Blood Xu
- Yellow (Damp or Xu)
  • Body, Face, Eyes, and Skin
  • Bright Orange
Yang Jaundice (Damp Heat)
  • Smoky Dark
Yin Jaundice (Cold Damp or Long Term Stagnation)
  • Pale Yellow (Not Bright)
Blood and Qi Xu
- Blue (Cold, Pain, Blood Stagnation, Convulsions)
  • Pale with Blue Tinge and Severe Pain in the Epigastrium and Abdomen
Excess Yin and Cold
  • Bluish Purple Face and Lips with Intermittent Pain Behind the Sternum or Precordial Region
Stagnation of Heart Blood
  • Bluish Purple Face and Lips with High Fever and Violent Movement of Limbs in Children
Infantile Convulsion
Dark Gray (Blood Stagnation and Kidney Xu)
  • Pale and Dark with Lumbar Soreness and Cold Feet
Kidney Yang Xu
  • Dark without Brightness with Scaly Skin
Prolonged Blood Stagnation

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  • Overweight with Mental Depression
Qi Xu and Excess Damp Phlegm
  • Loss of Weight in Long Term Illness
Exhaustion of Essential Qi
  • Thin with Dry Skin
Blood Xu
  • Extended Neck
Excess Lung Syndrome with Excess Phlegm
  • Facing Downward
Qi Xu with Shortness of Breath, Dislike of Speaking
  • Violent Movement of Limbs
Wind Diseases, Infantile Convulsions
  • Weakness, Motor Impairment, and Muscular Atrophy of Limbs
Wei Syndromes
  • Pain, Soreness, Heaviness and Numbness in Tendons, Bones and Muscles, with Swelling and Restricted Movement of Joints
Bi Syndromes
  • Numbness or Impaired Movement of Limbs on One Side of the Body
Hemiplegia or Wind Stroke

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  • Redness and Swelling
Wind Heat or Liver Fire
  • Yellow Sclera
  • Ulceration or Canthus
Damp Heat
  • Upward, Straight Forward, or Sideways Staring
Liver Wind

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  • Flapping of Ala Nasi
Heat in the Lungs or Qi Xu of both Lung and Kidney
  • Clear Discharge
Wind Cold
  • Turbid Discharge
Wind Heat
  • Prolonged Turbid Discharge, with Stinking Discharge
Rhinitis or Chronic Sinusitis

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  • Burnt Black and Dry and Withered Auricles in Severe Illness
Consumption of Kidney essence
  • Purulent Discharge
Damp Heat of Liver and Gall Bladder

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  • Pale Gums
Blood Xu
  • Redness and Swelling
Stomach Fire
  • Redness and Swelling with Bleeding
Injury of Vessels by Stomach Fire

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Lips and Mouth

  • Pale Lips
Blood Xu
  • Bluish Purple Lips
Retention of Cold or Blood Stagnation
  • Red and Dry Lips
Excess Heat
  • Sudden Collapse with Open Mouth
  • Sudden Collapse with Lockjaw

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  • Redness, Swelling, and Soreness
Lung and Stomach Heat
  • Redness and Swelling with Yellow or White Ulcer Spots
Toxic Heat in Lung and Stomach
  • Bright Red with Mild Soreness
Yin Xu with Hyperactive Fire
  • False Gray and White Membrane over Throat that is Hard to Remove, and Bleeds Following Removal
Diphtheria from Heat in the Lung Consuming Yin.

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Chills and Fever

- Chills Accompanied by Fever (External Pathogen Fighting with Antipathogenic Qi (Zheng Qi))
  • Severe Chills, Mild Fever, Absence of Sweating, Headache, General Aching, and a Superficial Tight Pulse
Wind Cold
  • Mild Chills, Severe Fever, Thirst, Sweating, and a Superficial Rapid Pulse
Wind Heat
- Alternating Chills and Fever
  • Alternating Chills and Fever with a Bitter Taste in the Mouth, Thirst, Fullness and Stuffiness in the Chest and Hypochondrium
Intermediate Syndrome
  • Alternating Chills Occurring at Specific Times of the Day
- Fever without Chills
  • High Fever with Aversion to Heat, Profuse Sweating, Severe Thirst, and a Surging Pulse
Excess Heat in the Interior
  • Fever at a Fixed Hour of the Day
Tidal Fever
  • Tidal Fever in the Afternoon or Evening, with Night Sweating, and a Red Tongue with Little Moisture
Yin Xu
  • Fever more Pronounced in the Afternoon with Constipation, and Fullness and Pain in the Abdomen
Yangming Fu Syndrome
- Chills without Fever size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" color="#0000FF"> 
  • Chilled Appearance, Cold Limbs, and a Deep, Slow, and Weak Pulse
Interior Cold Xu

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  • Absence of Sweating in Exterior Syndromes
Invasion by Pathogenic Cold
  • Presence of Sweating in Exterior Syndromes
Exterior Xu from Exposure to Wind, or Exterior Heat from Invasion of Pathogenic Wind Heat
  • Night Sweating (May also have Tidal Fever, and a Red Tongue with Little Coat
Yin Xu with Hyperactivity of Yang Heat
  • Spontaneous Sweating (May also have Chills, Listlessness, and Lassitude)
Qi and Yang Xu
  • Profuse Sweating with High Fever, Mental Restlessness, Thirst for Cold Drinks, and a Surging Pulse
Excess Interior Heat
  • Profuse Sweating with Listlessness, Feeble Energy, Cold Limbs, and a Deep Thready Pulse in a Severe Case
Total Exhaustion of Yang Qi

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Appetite, Eating, and Taste

  • Poor Appetite in a Prolonged Illness with Emaciation, Loose Stools, Lassitude, and a Pale Tongue with Thin White Coat
Spleen and Stomach Weakness
  • Poor Appetite with Stuffiness in the Chest, Fullness in the Abdomen, and a Thick Sticky Tongue Coat
Stagnation of Qi of the Spleen and Stomach Caused by Retention of Food or Dampness
  • Excessive Appetite and Easily Hungry in a Skinny Patient

Excess Stomach Fire

  • Hunger with no Desire to Eat, or Eating Small Amounts of Food
Impairment of Stomach Yin, Producing Internal Xu Heat
  • Lack of Thirst During an Illness
Body Fluids are not Consumed (Usually present in a Cold Syndrome, or where Heat is not Noticeable)
  • Presence of Thirst During an Illness
Consumption of Body Fluid or Retention of Phlegm Damp in the Interior Preventing Fluid from Ascending
  • Bitter Taste in the Mouth
Liver and Gallbladder Fire
  • Sweet Taste in the Mouth
Damp Heat in the Spleen and Stomach
  • Sour Regurgitation
Retention of Heat in the Liver and Stomach
  • Tastelessness
Spleen Xu

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Defecation and Urination

  • Constipation from Dryness of the Stool
Accumulation of Heat or Consumption of Body Fluids
  • Loose Stools
Spleen Xu, or Damp Retention in the Spleen
  • Watery Stool with Undigested Food
Spleen and Kidney Yang Xu
  • Bloody Stool with Mucus and Tenesmus
Damp Heat in the Intestines and Stagnation of Qi in the Intestinal Tract
  • Yellow Urine
Heat Syndrome
  • Clear and Profuse Urine
Absence of Pathogenic Heat, or Cold Syndrome
  • Turbid Urine
Damp Heat Pouring Downward, or Downward Leakage of Turbid Essence.
  • Red Urine
Injury of Vessels by Heat
  • Clear Urine with Increased Volume
Infirmity of Kidney Qi, and Bladder Dysfunction in Controlling Urine
  • Scanty, Yellow Urine, with Urgent and Painful Urination
Downward Movement of Damp Heat in to the Bladder
  • Dribbling Urination or Retention of Urine in Severe Cases
Exhausted Kidney Qi (Xu) or Stagnant Bladder Qi (Excess) due to the Downward Infusion of Damp Heat, Stagnant Blood, or Stones.

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  • Severe Distention and Mild Pain Moving from Place to Place, Often Occurring in the Chest, Epigastric, Hypochondriac, and Abdomen
Qi Stagnation
  • Headache with Distending Sensation in the Head
Upward Disturbance by Fire and Heat
  • Prickling Pain, Sharp and Fixed in Location, Often Occurring in the Chest, Epigastric, Hypochondriac, and Lower Abdominal Regions.
Blood Stagnation
  • Pain with and Heavy Sensation (Weighty Pain), Often Occurring in the Head, Four Limbs and Lumbar Regions
Dampness Blocking Qi and Blood
  • Colicky Pain
Abrupt Obstruction of the Qi by Substantial Pathogenic Factors
  • Pulling Pain which is Spasmodic in Nature and Short in Duration
Liver Wind
  • Burning Pain with a Burning Sensation and a Preference for Coolness, Often Occurring in the Hypochondriac regions on Both Sides, and in the Epigastric Region
Invasion of the Collaterals by Pathogenic Fire and Heat or from Excessive Yang Heat due to Yin Xu
  • Pain with a Cold Sensation and a Preference for Warmth, Often Occurring in the Head, Lumbar, Epigastric, and Abdominal Regions.
Pathogenic Cold Blocking the Collaterals or Lack of Warmth and Nourishment in the Zang Fu and Meridians due to Yang Qi Xu
  • Dull Pain that is not severe, lingers, and lasts for a long time
Xu Cold Syndrome
  • Headaches
1. Disturbance of the Clear Yang by Pathogenic Factors (Usually Excess) 2. Stagnation of Qi and Blood in Endogenous Diseases Blocking the Meridians and Depriving the Brain of Nourishment 3. Blood and Qi Xu Failing to Nourish the Head, and the Sea of Marrow Becomes Empty.
  • Chest Pain
Pathological Change in the Heart and Lungs
  • Hypochondriac Pain
Obstruction or Undernourishment of the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians
  • Epigastric Pain (Upper, Middle. Lower)
Invasion of the Stomach by Pathogenic Cold, Retention of Food in the Stomach, or Invasion of the Stomach by Liver Qi
  • Abdominal Pain

    - Upper is SP
    - Lower is KI, BL, LI, SI, Uterus
    - Sides are LIV

Excess Causes: Retention of Cold, Accumulation of Heat, Stagnation of Qi, Stagnation of Blood, Retention of Food or Parasitic Diseases

Xu Causes: Qi Xu, Blood, Xu, Deficiency of Cold

  • Lumbago
Obstruction of the Kidney Meridian or Deficiency of the Kidney Failing to Nourish the Lumbar Region
  • Pain in the Limbs (Joints, Muscles, or Meridians)
Retardation of Qi and Blood Circulation due to Invasion of the Exogenous Pathogenic Factors
  • Persistent Pain in a Recent Disease or Pain that is Aggravated by Pressure
Excess Condition
  • Intermittent Pain that is Alleviated by Pressure
Xu Condition

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  • Insomnia with Palpitations and Dizziness
Failure of Blood to Nourish the Heart due to Heart and Spleen Xu
  • Insomnia with a Restless Mind, and Dream Disturbed Sleep
Hyperactive Heart Fire
  • Difficulty Falling Asleep due to an Uncomfortable and Empty Sensation in the Stomach or Gastric Discomfort After a Full Meal
Derangement of Stomach Qi Leading to Mental Restlessness
  • Lethargy Accompanied by Dizziness
Phlegm Damp in the Interior
  • Half Asleep with General Lassitude
Heart and Kidney Yang Xu

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  • Menses of Shortened Cycle, Excessive in Amount, Deep Red in Color, and Thick in Quality
Excess Heat in the Blood
  • Menses that are Light Colored, Profuse in Amount, and Thin in Quality
Failure of Qi to Command Blood
  • Prolonged Cycle with Scanty Purplish Dark Discharge or Clots
Stagnation of Blood due to Cold
  • Thin, Scanty, Light Colored Flow
Blood Xu
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Disharmony of the Flush and Conception Vessels due to Obstruction of Liver Qi
  • Premenstrual or Menstrual Distending Pain in the Breasts and Lower Abdomen which Intensifies on Pressure During Menses
Stagnation of Blood due to Cold
  • Dull Pain in the Lower Abdomen During or After Menses which is Alleviated by Pressure
Qi and Blood Xu