Hands and skin


The quality of the nails and colour of the skin are useful to note.

Tremors of the hand are usually due to Liver Wind (usually a result of long term stress).

Pale nails
Blood deficiency
Purple nails
Blood stagnation (Liver)
White spots on nails
Qi deficiency
Dark red or purple hands
Cold or poor circulation (stagnation or yang deficiency


The skin is primarily influenced by the Lung and nourished by the Liver Blood, although the Spleen and Kidneys play parts as well. Dry skin is usually a wood or metal issue, while greasy skin indicates Damp or Phlegm (usually earth or wood) and Eczema is usually an earth, wood or metal issue.

Tissue swelling, or oedema, is divided into Water oedema or Qi oedema.

When a finger is pressed into the swelling and it leaves a dent, it is Water oedema due to Kidney Yang deficiency (often with concurrent Spleen and Lung weakness). If no dent remains, it is Qi oedema due to Qi stagnation.