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Special Pathological Conditions

During the course of illness, some pathological products are formed; they can in turn act directly or indirectly on certain tissue or organs, and cause new pathological conditions. The above mentioned five inner evils (wind, cold, dampness, dryness and fire evils) create these kind of changes. Retention of phlegm, static fluid and blood stasis are other commonly developed conditions.

Retention of phlegm and static fluid
  These are attributed to disorder in fluid metabolism, phlegm is thick and turbid, static fluid is thin and clear. The fluid metabolism is managed by the lungs, spleen, kidneys, and triple burner. When these organs are affected by the six evils, diet or seven emotions, they under-function and fluid metabolism is disturbed, which in turn causes the detention of water and body fluid.
  Click here to see the body fluid metabolism from a TCM perspective.
Blood stasis
  Blood stasis refers to general non-smooth blood circulation, or localized stagnated blood flow, or blood exudates from the vessels that fail to disperse. Blood stasis is usually caused by qi (vital energy) deficiency, qi (vital energy) stagnation, or cold evil or heat evils attacking the blood. Features of blood stasis are characterised with stabbing pain, cyanosis, tumour, bleeding (dark purplish blood with clotting), dark complexion, dry skin, purplish dark tongue with tiny bleeding spot, and a thready and uneven pulse.

Unforeseen Events

This last category includes accidents and injuries, which affect the qi (vital energy) of the body depending on their type and severity. In addition, other problems such as pollution and contamination of food can readily be placed in this category.


In Chinese medical theory, all diseases have a definite cause, either internal or external in origin. Of the two, internal factors are more important because it is internal weakness, which first permits invasion by external forces of excess. A strong, healthy, well-balanced body and mind will resist attack from even the most extreme environmental factors. This again explains the stress that TCM places on basic preventative care through diet, exercise, breathing, regulated sex, and preventative herbal prescriptions. It has only been in the past few decades that Western medicine has started to follow suit and incorporate some TCM concepts into its practice.


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1. Zhang Enqin (ed.). Basic Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1990.
張恩勤主編, 中醫基礎理論, 上海中醫藥大學出版社, 1990.
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北京中醫藥大學主編, 中醫基礎理論, 學苑出版社, 2002-2.

Written By:
Jennifer Eagleton, BA & MA (Asian Studies)
Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd

Angela Collingwood MSN, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Jennifer Eagleton, BA & MA (Asian Studies)Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.

Special thanks to Elpidio Talens Juan for helping with article graphics.