Disclosure of suboptimal health status through traditional Chinese medicine-based body constitution and pulse patterns

Yen Ying Kung, Terry B.J. Kuo, Chun Ting Lai, Yuh Chiang Shen, Yi Chang Su, Cheryl C.H. Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: Suboptimal health status (SHS) is a dynamic state wherein people have not been diagnosed with a disease but tend to develop diseases. People with SHS often experience fatigue and other nonspecific symptoms, which are related to a deviated body constitution in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, the correlation between TCM constitution and SHS has not been adequately investigated. Furthermore, no study has explored the radial pulse analysis—an assistive objective indicator of TCM constitution—in healthy people and people with SHS. Design: A cross-sectional study. Settings/Location: Center for Traditional Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan. Subjects: Sixty-six adults (27 healthy participants and 39 participants with SHS) who were aged 20–39 years. Outcome Measures: The body constitution questionnaire (BCQ) scores, suboptimal health status questionnaire-25 (SHSQ-25) scores, and radial pulse waves detected using sphygmography were recorded. Pulse wave analyses are presented as the ratio of frequency below 10 Hz to that above 10 Hz (SER10), which represent energy changes in organ blood flow. Results: Participants with SHS had significantly higher Yang-Xu, Yin-Xu, and stasis scores of BCQ compared with healthy participants. The SHSQ-25 scores of the participants with SHS were moderately correlated with their Yang-Xu, Yin-Xu, and stasis scores (r = 0.65, 0.66, and 0.72, respectively; all p < 0.001), but weak correlations were discovered for healthy participants. The participants with SHS had significantly higher SER10 at the left guan (the “liver” system in TCM) than did the healthy participants. Conclusions: SHS is moderately correlated with TCM-based constitution and those with SHS had increased SER10 at the leftguan of the radial pulse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102607
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Body constitution
  • Radial pulse analysis
  • Suboptimal health status


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