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TCM Theory – Illness Differentiation (Part 3)

TCM Theory – Illness Differentiation (Part 3)

Organ pattern identification

This method of identification of patterns is used mostly for interior and chronic conditions, however it does also include a few exterior and acute patterns. The focus of Organ pattern identification is to determine what organs are affected by disease and to identify any changes in their Qi-Xue and yin-yang aspects.

The first stage of Organ pattern identification is to identify which organ(s) have been affected and this is done so by understanding the organ functions and organ to organ relationships.

By understanding harmony one can see where there is disharmony, by understanding how the organs function and what their role is, both an individual sense and also as a part of a entire system, one can discern which pattern of disharmony is present. Once the affected organ has been identified, the relative states of yin, yang, Qi, and Xue can be determined via the application of the Eight principles and Qi and Xue pattern identification. Once a picture has been made of the presenting illness via the examination of these systems, a conclusion can be made as to the underlying pattern of disharmony.

Disease-evil pattern identification

Pathogenic factors can invade the body from both the interior and the exterior but will always correspond to full patterns according to the eight principles.

The patterns are:

  • Wind Disease Patterns
  • Cold Disease Patterns
  • Heat, fire and summer heat Disease Patterns
  • Dampness Disease Patterns
  • Dryness Disease Patterns
  • Food accumulation
  • Phlegm Disease Patterns

Disease-evil pattern identification is the method used to determine which evil is the cause of the illness and is done so via the information gathered through the four examinations. In TCM this process is what they call “identifying the pattern and determining the cause”


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