Inspection is the process where a doctor observe the patient's:
- Gait (overall physical appearance)
- Openness, and emotional demeanour
The doctor observes your condition based on the following considerations:
- Vitality: the color, complexion and lustre of the skin, and the overall general impression of the patient are key points in observation. It provides information about qi and blood flow in the body.
- Body Appearance: the appearance of the body can also provide the practitioner with good information as to where the problems lie.
- Facial Features: facial expressions tell the practitioner about the
psychological status of the patient, whether it be sad, happy, anxious or overjoyed,
and are a point of consideration prior to making a diagnosis. The features themselves,
including the eyes, nose, mouth and lips, can also provide evidence of excess
or deficient conditions causing imbalance in the body.
- The Tongue and its Coating: the inspection of the tongue is a vital
diagnostic procedure in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The color,
coating, shape and texture of various parts of the tongue yield information
about the state of the organs.
A normal tongue is moist and has an "appropriate" red color. A light red or pale tongue is a sign of deficiency in both qi and blood. A thick, purple colored tongue is often associated with alcoholism, while cracks in the tongue show dryness, heat, and deficient yin.