In Chinese medicine, doctors use various methods to get full and detailed information about the patients and to guide their treatment, via observing, listening, smelling, and touching. They also talk to the patients or their relatives.
To treat diseases, doctors use the methods of observation, auscultation and olfaction, interrogation, and pulse feeling and palpation. These methods, known as the four major methods, each have their distinctive function and doctors can make a correct analysis of diseases by applying all of them.
It is believed that people's outer appearance is closely linked with their internal organs. If there is something wrong with the internal organs, such changes will be reflected in people's expressions and appearance. Therefore, doctors can analyze the changes of internal organs by observing the outer appearance.
Auscultation and Olfaction
By the methods of auscultation and olfaction, doctors try to diagnose diseases by listening to the sound of the patients and smelling the odor of excreta released by the human body.
By listening to the sound of the patients, doctors cannot only detect the changes of the organs related with sound, but also changes of the other internal organs. The sounds include: speech sound, breathing, coughing, hawking (clearing the throat noisily), and belching.
Also, doctors can smell the odor released by patients. It is believed that when viruses attack the human body, people's internal organs and blood will be affected, thus making their body fluid and excreta release a bad smell.