Key to Accurate Diagnosis from the Yellow Emperorís Classic

 

††††††††††††††† Huang Di continued his questioning. "I would be very thankful to hear some of the essentials in regard to clinical situations."

††††††††††††††† Qi Bo answered, "The key to accurate diagnosis of conditions lies in observation of the patient's color and complexion, and palpation of the pulses. These two techniques are the essential tools of diagnosis. If one does not understand and cannot utilize them, when one attempts to treat a condition, malpractice and further injury to the patient will occur. You see, if this same thing were applied to running a country, what would happen to the country? So, doctors of today should eliminate their bad habits and ignorance, open their minds, and learn the essence of pulse and color diagnosis. Only by doing so will they ever succeed in reaching the level of the ancient sages."

††††††††††††††† Huang Di said, "I have now heard you in your teachings. What you seem to be saying is that in diagnosis one should never minimize the value of the techniques of pulse and color. But are there any other specifics that one can utilize?"

††††††††††††††† Qi Bo answered, "Yes. There is one other important thing. That is the interrogation of the patient, the inquiry."

††††††††††††††† Huang Di asked, "How does one go about this?"

††††††††††††††† Qi Bo replied, "First, select a quiet environment. Close all doors and windows. Gain the trust of the patient so that the patient can completely convey everything that is pertinent to the condition. Be thorough and differentiate the truth. Observe the patient's spirit. When there is spirit, the prognosis is positive. When the spirit is gone, the condition is very grave."

 

From the Yellow Epmperor's Classic, p52