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Home > Education > Diagnosis > Eye Diagnosis

The Five Wheels and Traditional Chinese Medicine's Eye Diagnosis

One of the ancient doctrines on ophthalmology divided the eye into five portions in accordance with the five solid (Yin) organs.

These portions are the five wheels:

The wheel of flesh=Spleen
The wheel of blood=Heart
The wheel of Qi=Lung
The wheel of wind=Liver
The wheel of water=Kidney
This is the image of the eyes, explaining where to look for diagnostic purposes.  This image is essential to understand this page.

Any colors inappropriate to the normal color of the area would suggest a pathology. I believe that the iris is associated with the Liver organ because it is generally associated with the color green. Obviously, the fact that our African model's iris is brown does not suggest any pathology.

It is interesting to note that even with the wide varieties of colors represented by different races, there is still a superficial color that can arise atop the "host" color which, would then be useful for diagnostic purposes.

Although photographs are often imperfect in their representation, this one may suggest that there is a slight condition of heat in this model's lungs due to the red color appearing in the whites of her eyes.

In fact, this model is a teen aged girl from rural Africa. It may follow then, that she is suffering from a wind-heat condition associated with her environment.

Had there been bags beneath her eyes, we might look to the Spleen for a pattern of disharmony. If the bags were dark blue, the origin of the Spleen problem might be found in the Kidneys, for the color associated with the Kidneys in five-element theory is blue and black. If the bags were blue-green we would likely find that the Spleen disharmony has its root in both the Kidneys and Liver whose color is green.

There are some ethnic considerations that need to be made. Actually, I've noticed only one. There are some patients of Italian origin, those with a dark olive complexion, who tend to have dark rings below their eyes even though there is no disharmony associated with the Spleen or Kidney.

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