Chinese Medicine Theory of the Eight Principles

"The body is visible, but Qi is invisible." 
- Chinese Medicine saying

Traditional Chinese Medicine and The 8 Principles

Locating the disease and its nature


The Eight Principles are four Yin / Yang conditions that assess the location and nature of the illness. Once this is known, the treatment plan is simple - Balance the body. Strengthen the weak, cool the hot, moisten the dry, etc. These pairs are:


EXCESS/ DEFICIENT Too much or too little. These terms describe both the disease and the patient. Sudden illness is excess. Chronic illness suggests deficiency. Symptoms of excess are stronger or more pronounced than those caused by deficiency. A severe sore throat suggests wind-heat excess (viral), while a persistent scratchy throat implies heat cause by a deficiency of coolness (yin).


INSIDE/ OUTSIDE  Where does the disharmony originate? Is it invading from the exterior, or is it caused by deficiency, emotion, or stagnation in the interior. Airborn viruses, bacterial infections, or other pestilential diseases are Exterior. Exterior diseases can penetrate the body and become Interior disease.


HOT/ COLD Heat suggests an oversupply of qi or an inadequacy in the body's cooling system. Cold suggests the opposite, qi deficiency or weak metabolic function.  Just as it can be hot in Miami and cold in Siberia, bodies can be hot and cold at the same time.  the Liver can be hot while the Kidney is cold. Diseases can also have hot or cold natures, depending on the way they affect us.


DAMP/ DRY Life loves water, and excessive dampness inside the body helps breed microscopic life such as bacteria, virus, fungus. Swollen tissue, excess phlegm or other fluids are signs of dampness. Dryness indicates a scarcity of fluids. Causes of dryness are Blood or Yin deficiency. Excessive heat can also scorch the fluids and leads to dryness. Prolonged exposure to dry weather will cause dryness inside the body as well.




These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



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