Etiology, Pathogenesis, Function States, and TCM Diagnoses(2)

The TCM principle is to keep the balance between the human body and the outside world, so that the human body can rapidly adapt to new changes of the environment. The human body, however, is a complicated system. When the whole system is in an imbalanced state for a long period of time, namely being imbricate to partial stagnation of energy circulation, variation is induced in some cells existing in the imbalanced environment. The variation influences the internal environment, which influences consciousness, eventually forming a vicious circle. Therefore, it is important to realize the primary contradiction that influences the balance and to reveal the real cause of the disease before a treatment can achieve its effects.

TCM recognizes the essence of disease in the human body by using the concept of the “syndrome.” Recognition of the syndrome requires knowledge of not only various functional states of the human body, but also dialectical (syndrome differentiation) and diagnostic ideas. There are many methods of syndrome differentiation in TCM, primarily “syndrome differentiation with eight principles,” supplemented by “syndrome differentiation of viscera,” “syndrome differentiation in terms of six meridians,” “syndrome differentiation of nutritional Qi and blood,” and “syndrome differentiation of the San Jiao.” Syndrome differentiation with eight principles is a key method equipped with four diagnostic techniques. The integrated diagnosis is based on TCM theories that generalize the pathological changes in the general category (Yin or Yang), location (exterior or interior), property (cold or heat), and balance of two nonhealthy energy states (excess or deficiency), thus reflecting a general condition of the pathological function state of the human body. The first and most important recognition, though, is Yin and Yang. All other diagnostic methods are based on syndrome differentiation with eight principles, which focuses on knowing the pathological condition of organs, the meridian system, Qi, blood, and saliva. The concept of the syndrome in TCM seems to yield a rather indistinct description of a phenomenon, but actually reveals imbalanced dynamics between a part of the body and the entire body. To an experienced TCM physician, the syndrome is an explicit description of energy distribution with dynamic information or even a visual image. Compared to TCM, CWM appears more objective by searching for the “disease focus”, i.e. the solid infection structure as detected by instruments, revealing differences between the varied and normal tissue cells. Hence, the exploration by CWM is static. TCM strives to restore the function of cells by adjusting the internal environment, whereas CWM strives to change, remove, or replace the partially infected cells to eliminate the disease. Obviously, both TCM and Western medicine have their merits. CWM is undoubtedly a valid method to suppress pathological cells in the human body because it can rapidly eliminate the pathological cells that influence the internal environment, hence immediately changing the functional states of the body. However, this is a temporarily effective method and cannot permanently cure the disease because of the unchanged living environment for those cells. Variation in new cells would be continuously induced in such an environment. CWM has to wait for the formation of a disease focus before an accurate diagnosis of a disease can be made. Hence, it is often too late to effectively suppress a disease by the time it can be accurately diagnosed by using Western medical techniques. TCM, however, relies on syndrome differences and can diagnose the disease before an infection focus appears, and can perform an early treatment or prevent the disease from getting worse. Although the pathological changes of cells cannot be eliminated quickly by the technique, TCM can effectively change the internal environment and restore the function of the pathologically affected cells. This is especially true of those diseases in development without an obvious infection focu

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