Therapeutic Principles-Concentrating Treatment on the Root (Ben) Cause (2)

Treatment in the routine way or contrary treatment

(1) Under normal conditions, contrasting treatments are used. After careful analysis and syndrome differentiation, herbs are used to counteract manifestations. Cold syndromes are treated with herbs of warm or hot properties, and heat syndromes with herbs of cold properties. Deficiency syndromes are treated by reinforcing or replenishing, and excess syndromes by purging and reducing.Contrasting treatment cures disease by opposing its false manifestation (the symptoms are contrary to the real situation), false heat is treated by herbs of a warm nature, false cold by herbs of a cold nature, false obstruction by replenishing, and false diarrhea by purging. When excessive internal Yin-cold prevents Yang from entering, true-cold-and-false-heat syndromes occur, which are treated with herbs of a warm nature to treat false-heat. This condition manifests as diarrhea with undigested food, internal cold (cold limbs, faint pulse), and external heat (flushed face, lack of cold sensation). The disease is in the Shaoyin meridian. Because the disease nature is deficient Yang and excess cold, herbs of warm properties are used to treat the true-cold. The false-heat symptoms will automatically disappear.

Diseases with true deficiency and false excess obstruction are treated with tonic herbs. For instance, intermittent gastric and abdominal distension (relieved by pressure), poor appetite, and a pale tongue, but no evidence of damp or food retention, occur with Spleen deficiency. The herbs supporting Spleen-Yang will restore the Spleen function, relieve abdominal distension, and treat constipation from insufficient essence and blood caused by prolonged illness. Supporting Yang herbs treat amenorrhea caused by deficient blood or impaired Chong and Ren meridians.

(2) Treating incidental manifestations first in emergenciesIn emergency situations, secondary symptoms are treated first and the root cause dealt with later. This arises when symptoms are acute, cause great suffering, threaten life, or have the potential to transmit and change. In severe cases with marked symptoms, treatment of the fundamental and of the incidental aspects are given simultaneously. Clinically, the following symptoms could be considered acute: serious ascites and edema, massive hemorrhage, extremely high temperature, dyspnea and inhibited respiration, sharp pain, violent vomiting or diarrhea, Yang exhaustion syndromes, etc.

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