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TCM Theory – Illness Differentiation (Part 4)

TCM Theory – Illness Differentiation (Part 4)

Pattern identification according to the Five phases

The five phases are often used to describe clinical processes and relationships and to help in the conceptualization of correct treatments. It is an effective system that explains pathological changes via understanding disharmony at an elementary level. The five phases outlines the inter-connection of the internal organs and their dependency on one another for harmony and correct functioning.

Pattern identification according to channel pathology

This method of pattern identification allows you to distinguish symptoms and signs according to the involved channel and it is therefore concerned with the pathological changes occurring in the channel rather than the organ.

Channel pathology can arise from invasion of exterior pathogenic factors, such as cold, wind, dampness or heat; therefore the Disease-evil pattern identification is also used. Qi-Xue pattern identification is also used in channel pathologies as another common cause of channel pathology is due to the quality of circulation of Qi and Xue through the channels. In relation to the eight principles, exterior relates to the exterior of the body, which includes the skin, muscles and channels.

Excess and deficiency is used to describe the pathology in terms of Qi and Xue. Intense pain, stiffness, contractions and cramps characterize excess conditions in the channels. Deficient conditions are characterized by dull ache, weakness of the muscles, atrophy of the muscles and numbness. Organ pattern identification may also be used as channel pathologies can also manifest due to an internal disharmony moving outward.


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