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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 6, S1, Pages 93-98
Original Article

Quantitative Sasang Constitution Diagnosis Method for Distinguishing between Tae-eumin and Soeumin Types Based on Elasticity Measurements of the Skin of the Human Hand

Center for Mass & Force, Division of Physical Metrology, Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, 1 Doryeong Dong, Yuseong Gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Received 11 March 2009; Accepted 23 June 2009

Copyright © 2009 Han Wook Song et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The usefulness of constitutional diagnoses based on skin measurements has been established in oriental medicine. However, it is very difficult to standardize traditional diagnosis methods. According to Sasang constitutional medicine, humans can be distinguished based on properties of the skin, including its texture, roughness, hardness and elasticity. The elasticity of the skin was previously used to distinguish between people with Tae-eumin (TE) and Soeumin (SE) constitutions. The present study designed a system that uses a compression method to measure the elasticity of hand skin and evaluated its measurement repeatability. The proposed system was used to compare the skin elasticity between SE and TE subjects, which produced a measurement repeatability error of <3%. The proposed system is suitable for use as a quantitative constitution diagnosis method for distinguishing between TE and SE subjects with an acceptable level of uncertainty.