Disharmony in Chinese Medicine
There are 6 external causes of disharmony according to TCM. These 6 external causes (6
evils) are wind, cold, heat, dampness, dryness and also summer heat. All 6 causes have to do with climatic
conditions that are of extremes. These extremes cause terrible effects on the environment and can seriously throw
off the balance necessary within our bodies that helps us maintain the flow of qi to our organs.
Achieving harmony equates to wellness. Disharmony equates to disease. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has 3
main areas that is looked to for the cause of disease. These 3 main areas are external causes, internal causes and
then there is a small group of miscellaneous causes that are attributed to the patient's lifestyle.
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There are 6 external causes of disharmony according to TCM. These 6 external causes (6 evils) are wind, cold,
heat, dampness, dryness and also summer heat.
All 6 causes have to do with climatic conditions that are of extremes. These extremes cause terrible effects on
the environment and can seriously throw off the balance necessary within our bodies that helps us maintain the flow
of qi to our organs.
When this balance is out of whack qi is blocked or decreased to the point of the manifestation of disease.
Symptoms that are related to wind are allergies, chills, colds, dizziness, fever, flu, headaches, nasal
congestion and vertigo. Wind determines the ability of a disease to spread through the body.
Symptoms that have something to do with the immune system are part of the cold cause. These symptoms include
anemia, colds, cough, poor circulation, upper respiratory allergies, and also poor digestion.
Illnesses such as colitis, flu, high blood pressure, hyperthyroid, inflammation of arthritis, skin rashes and
ulcers are all conditions that are worsened by the heat of the sun which is why they are under the heat cause.
The cause dampness includes any symptom where there is something to do with fluid such as swelling, obesity,
cysts, tumors and lumps as well as any increase in phlegm such as when there is a sinus or upper respiratory
condition. Also included in the category of the dampness cause is anything to do with wet weather.
The dryness cause is very noticeable in the environment when there is a drought and the dry climate destroys the
wellness of plants. The same cause is true for our bodies regarding disorders of the reproductive organs, skin,
lungs, sinuses, and large intestine or of digestion.
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Chinese food therapy is very old, it dates back to 2000 BC. and has been documented since 500 BC. The Niejing was written around 300 BC and documents Chinese food therapy. This document classifies food into four food groups. The groups are and by the five tastes and also be their natures and characteristics of the foods.
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The overexposure to heat as in hot weather or too much sunlight can cause conditions such as heat stroke, with
symptoms of dizziness, extreme thirst, exhaustion, and nausea. All of these conditions and symptoms are under the
cause of summer heat.
There are 7 internal causes (7 emotions) that are attributed to intense and prolonged or possibly suppressed
emotions, which may include: anger, fear, fright, grief, joy, pensiveness, and also sadness.
Prolonged sadness has an effect of decreasing the flow of qi to both the lungs and heart. The conditions
associated with sadness are amenorrhea, asthma, cold and flu, depression, and also fatigue.
Grief causes injury to the lungs and decreases the ability of the body to fight off colds and flu. It also
contributes to chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, emphysema and upper respiratory disease.
Pensiveness is when the mind spends too much time thinking, worrying or contemplating something for an abnormal
amount of time which will deplete spleen qi, and may result in the following condition: digestive conditions,
edema, fatigue, and also poor appetite.
Fear and Fright are very similar with fear resulting in damage to the kidneys, lower back, and the joints.
Fright is sudden and creates heart symptoms such as palpitations, breathlessness, and sustained over a long period
of time may lead to kidney damage, lower back issues or joint damage.
Anger is destructive and includes all the negative emotions we have such as irritability, frustration,
resentment and rage. Diseases that may occur here are headaches, dizziness, high blood pressure and mental
Excessive joy is the illness of overindulgence and can cause damage to the heart with symptoms of insomnia,
hysteria and possibly confused thinking.