Diagnosis by Colour
-Fire is the deepest at the level of blood
-Earth is next at the level of muscles
-Metal is exactly on the skin
-Wood floats just above as though the tendon are shining through
-Water floats above the skin.
In Classical Five Element Acupuncture the only way to diagnose a persons Causative Factor is by their Colour, their Sound, Odour and Emotion.  First we look for a colour in the face.  This is usually seen around the mouth or temples and an allover shade to the complexion.  This colour can be seen in whatever race of person you are working with. You are also looking for a depth in, on or above the skin that the colour occupies. The face has a lot of blood flowing through it and it expresses a lot of emotional activity.  The skill is to look through this.
Fire is Red

As Fire is in charge of the blood, this colour is seen as thought it is coming from below the skin where the vessels and capillaries are to be found. An excess of fire can be seen as a flushed complexion or a fiery excess of blood in the face; a cheery face that seems like it is smiling even when it is not.  A lack of Fire is the grey colour of ashes, or the quiet, sad colour of the fire that has gone out - an ashen complexion.
Earth is Yellow

This can range from a grey yellow to a bright banana yellow, to the reddish-yellow of a mango.  The Earth element is in charge of the muscles so this colour is seen in the flesh, as though you can actually see the muscles just under the skin.
Metal is White

Metal is in charge of the skin so this colour is seen actually on the skin. It looks like the person has face powder on even when they are wearing none.  It is a flat colour - almost opaque - as though there is nothing above or below it.
Wood is Green.

Wood is the colour of spring, seen around the tendons that support the muscles of the face, the lines of the jaw and around the eyes. It seems to be floating just above the skin and has a slight luminescence to it.
Water is Blue

It is best understood as a ruddy red blue as though you have mixed the two colours equally.  It has intensity to it as though it is moving out from the skin with the determination of the Water element.
It floats above the skin.