Causes of disease


Pain, health disorders and their causes in TEAM

In Chinese medical theory and practice, any form of pathology - as in case of:

* pain, numbness, tingling, stiffness, itching, swelling, outbreaks on the skin,
* various manifestations of the Internal Organs’ disorders, as well as,
* mental or emotional problems.

Is associated with the disharmony of one or more of the fourVital Substances, namely:

1. Qi:
* Is a sum of all energetic phenomena of an organism e.g. cellular respiration, anabolism, catabolism, movement, chemical and electrical signaling, information coding/ exchange/ storage/ processing, etc.
2. Blood (Xue)
3. Essence (Jing):
* Is a basis of constitutional strength,DNA, RNA; determinesgrowth, reproduction and development;producesMarrow
4. Body Fluids (Yin Ye):
* This Vital Substance comprisesintracellular and extracellular fluid, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, sweat, tears, saliva, mucus of protective membranes, etc.

In a more accurate sense, Wu Xing is actually the short form of "Wu zhongliuxingzhi chi" or "the five types of Qi dominating at different times", by way of example:

In the body, stasisor deficiency of theVital Substances, includingstasisfrom the obstruction by Dampness and Phlegm can be caused by exterior, interior as well as other pathogenic factors (see next section).

Specifically, pain, in TCM, independent of its nature, somatic pain (pain in skin, muscles, connective tissue or joints) or visceral pain (pain in the Internal Organs) is the result of stasis/blockageof Qi and/or Blood.

* Since Qiequals sum of all energetic phenomena of an organism̶ pain(in biomedical terms) equals altered composition of a connective tissuematrix leading to altered mechanical, physical and chemicalsignal transductionin the organism as a whole.

The corethree principlesof Chinese medical treatment (be it acupuncture,cupping, herbal medicine, etc. ) is to:

1. Move chronic or acute stasis that is associated with disharmony of the Vital Substances.
* This means, in western medical terms, to re-establish proper signal transduction in the connective tissue.
2. Nourish or tonifyVitals Substances in case of their deficiency.
3. Eliminate or at best reduce the underlying cause of the disharmony this implies to:
* Dispel the Pathogenic Qi (Cold, Heat, Dampness, Phlegm, and Dryness),
* Eliminate the external(e.g. poor diet, exposure to wind, cold, dampness, overwork, intoxicationetc. )and internal (e.g. emotional and/ormental distress) causes.

The essentialgoal of thethree principles is to re-establishYin Yangbalance (homeostasis)in the organism, that is,
* to restorestability of the body's internal environment: regulation of temperature, pH balance, hormonal activity, activation/inhibition of neurotransmitters, etc.

This is achieved by systemic therapeutic approach, namely by employingdifferent therapy methods:
* acupuncture, moxibustion, Gua Sha, cupping,herbal medicine, breathing exercises, counselling on nutrition as well as lifestyle.

External causes of disease (external pathogenic factors)

In TEAM, external causes of disease include:


Cold acts in the body as it acts in nature: it slows things down, causes things to contract, collect, congeal and congest,
* Ehen Vital Substances congest — there is pain,
* Pain, that is initially caused by Cold has the most severe expression, examples would include severe pain in joints, pain in peripheral nerves (neuritis), menstrual pain (as in endometriosis), etc.
Cold particularly damages Kidney, and Kidney disorders are a common ailment in Northern climate,
Cold can also manifest as common cold (flulike symptoms), shivery feeling, stiffness, aching and contraction of muscles, cold limbs, slow, tight pulse, white tongue coating, desire for warm drinks, etc.


heat also congeals the Body Fluids and leads to the extravasation of blood vessels, hence its quite common symptom is bleeding (especially nose bleeding and bleeding from the gums)
other Heat manifestations include burning nature of pain in general, inflammations (with reddish manifestations) in general, fever, burning sensations in the throat, pain on swallowing, reddish complexion, burning sensations in muscles/skin/joints, thirst, red skin eruptions, ulcers and boils with yellow puss,constipation with dry stool, dark urine, burning sensation on urination, bitter taste, rapid pulse, red tongue with yellow coating, yellow vaginal discharge, cough with yellow sputum, bloodshot eyes, etc.


wind can manifest as acute stages of bacterial and viral infections of respiratory tract, acute itching, acute muscle and joint inflammations and stiffness, especially if pain wanders from place to place, or acute pain or stiffness that start in the upper part of the body: head, neck, and shoulders, etc.


Can manifest as feeling of heaviness in various part of the body, especially extremities (since Dampness is heavy and tends to sink), dull muscle ache,excessive vaginal discharge, loose stools, oedema, slow thinking, tiredness, cloudy urine, sticky tongue coating, etc.


E.g. as in dry cough, hoarse voice, dry mouth/throat/nose/tongue, dry skin,eczema, fever, thirst, etc.

Summer Heat

E.g. as inacute infection of the digestive tract, fever, sweating, dark urine, thirst, etc.

Cold particularly damages Kidney, and Kidney disorders are a common ailment in Northern climate,
Cold can also manifest as common cold (flulike symptoms), shivery feeling, stiffness, aching and contraction of muscles, cold limbs, slow, tight pulse, white tongue coating, desire for warm drinks, etc.

Internal causes of disease (see also Internal Organs)

Internal causes of diseaseinclude unresolved negative mental and/or emotional experience (particularly: anger/irritation/stress, sadness/grieve, worry, fear, shock, pensivenessand even excessive joy).

Mental or emotional distress causes deficiency and/or stasis of Qiand the disruption of Yin -Yang balance (e.g. inhibition- activation processes).
By way of example:
* pensiveness (includes obsessive thinking, academic studying, etc.)depletes Qi of Spleen/Pancreas, thus, in time, causing digestive disorders, poor appetite, overeating, craving for sweet foods(sweet is the taste of Spleen), tendency to obesity,tiredness,especially in the morning, lassitude, tendency to depression ,
* unresolved stress or suppressed anger causes the blockage of the circulation of Qi, especially in the Liver, thus giving sensation of blockage a/or constriction of the throat(here the Liver meridian passes through), headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, neck stiffness, red blotches on the front part of the neck and a red face.

Negative mental and/or emotional experience can also make the body to be more susceptible to external pathogenic factors

Miscellaneous causes of disease include:

Heredity, diet, inadequate rest/activity,excessive physical activity/sexual activity, trauma/surgery, intoxication,food retention, phlegm,faulty medical treatment, microorganism infestation,etc.
* As way of example, excessive exercise can cause Blood deficiency.
** This condition occurs as a consequence ofthe excessive loss of sweat:
*** Sweat, in Chinese medicine, isan integral portion of Blood, excessive loss of sweat inevitably causes loss of blood.
*** Depending on the severity of the condition and the personal predisposition of the patient,Blood deficiencycan eventually manifest as:
**** Cramping, stiffness and aching of muscles,tingling sensations,tendon and ligament rigidity and fragility, dizziness, insomnia,poor memory, palpitations, dry skin/hair, loss of hair, blurred vision, absence of menstruation,scanty menstruation, tingling sensation in the skin, ridged nails, pale dull complexion, pale lips, etc.
* Trauma or surgery, for example, leads to the stasis of Qi and Blood.
** In case of pain caused by the stasis of Blood, the intensity of pain is usually more well localised and is more severe than that from Qi stasis.

Acupunctureas well as other TEAMhealing techniques are used to release the effects of congestion ofQi and/or Bloodand therefore relieve pain, and other pathological manifestations.