The Main Causes of Diseases According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine

Hello Readers,

Today I decided to make an unusual post about how the Chinese Medicine sees the main causes of disease. For those who are students in the health area, you may have already heard of a book called “Structural and Functional Pathology” by Robins. In this huge book, we have as main causes of disease: bacteria, fungi, viruses, genetic mistakes or endocrine malfunctioning.

Chinese people,however, have a different vision from others. Those who study Oriental Medicine will find a repetitive pattern on what factors cause certain or most diseases and affect the musculoskeletal system and even the one that causes neurological diseases.

That means that the same factor responsible for knee pain can, ultimately, cause Parkinson.

This is one of the reasons why the Chinese try to maintain all of our body systems in equilibrium, during all our lifetime, since we don’t know when a disease can appear, once all cause factors are the same.

Therefore, let’s take a look into the causes of disease:

1- Constitution 

The Constitution has to do with the individual genetics. Depending on the energy/health of the parents at the moment this person wasconceived. If the parents have chronic health problems, such as hypertension, diabetes, thyroid problems, etc. or even bad life habits, high consumption of alcoholic beverages or cigarette (smoking) or other drugs and medications, this energy will be passed to the child, who will soon develop health problems.

Another big factor is the mother’s age when the child was conceived. In Chinese Medicine, women who get pregnant after the 30 years of age, are putting the baby’s health in danger, once the vital energy is already starting to decline.

Although it’s obvious that the medicine has evolved and nowadays women may get pregnant at a later age, even after 40, this does not mean that their vital energy is intact. Children may be born healthy even after a “late” pregnancy; however, we can’t assure that a later health problem will or won`t be related to the mother’s age.

2- Emotional Stress

For the Chinese, the emotional stress is one of the main causing factors for disease, even more for adults. Stress, anxiety, fear, anger, and frustration restrain the energy (Qi) flow on the body.

The main Qi function is to push blood. Thus, when we are under emotional tension, we block the blood flow for all the body, possibly affecting organs, viscera, bones, muscles, and even the psychic region, creating many emotional problems.

That’s why the practice of meditation, breathing, Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong are common in the Orient, as a form of diminishing emotional stress and keeping Qi and blood flowing in the right manner throughout the body, maintaining systems well nourished and 100% functional.

3- Excessive Sexual or Physical Activity

Excessive sexual or physical activity demands a lot of Qi and Blood, that the body may not be able to replace, mainly when the person doesn’t properly rest from one day to another.

As we know, everything that uses or spends energy within  our body must be replaced, and for that, it needs time. Hence, when we lack enough resting time, our body starts to exhaust our reserves.

Specifically in this situation, the main organs for the Chinese Medicine are the Kidney and the Spleen, both responsible for the Essential Energy (Jing) and for the blood production, respectively.

Thus, if the Kidney and the Spleen don’t work properly, there isn’t energy or blood for the basic bodily functions and the person becomes chronically and seriously sick.

4- Bad Eating Habits

In the Western Medicine, we also associate bad eating habits as a causing factor for disease, such as high cholesterol, clogging arteries, diabetes, obesity, and many others.

However, the Chinese go even further, and saythat every food has a basic essence: they can be, cold, fresh, neutral, warm or hot, for each body part. If we eat only cold or fresh aliments, we may generate cold and inner humidity, that will result in diseases such as sinus inflammation, mass generation (like cysts), uterine myoma or even tumors.

On the other hand, if we eat only warm or hot foods, we may develop diseases from these essences, such as: anxiety and chronic stress, insomnia, vascular problems, hypertension, etc.

5- Invasion by External Pathologies

This is the most common factor and the easiest to treat, from the causing factors in Chinese Medicine. The invasion by external pathological factors is a way for the body to saythat the person’s immunity is weak, and thus, they were invaded by an external factor, which will lead to an mild, acute and simple to solve disease, like a cold or torticollis.

The pathological factors are: cold, heat, humidity, wind and dryness.

However, in order to penetrate a person’s body, the Wind must be present. Hence, you can only be invaded by:

  • Cold Wind
  • Heat Wind
  • Humidity Wind
  • Dryness Wind

The change is only in the symptoms that will appear.

In the cold wind invasion, we will have a normal cold with transparent coryza, with no fever. In the heat wind, yellowish coryza with a fever and mental agitation. In humidity wind, huge amounts of thick coryza, with pain and weight sensation throughout the body. And in dryness wind, coughing, dry eyes, and a few other symptoms which may also be related.

When there is an invasion by external pathogens, the body interior, that is, organs, are not affected at first; however, if not treated, it can turn into an inner invasion, affecting the acupuncture meridians and physiological functions. In this moment, the disease stops being superficial, acute and easy to treat and is installedinternalize, becoming chronic and hard to solve.

That’s it for today!

If you liked these explanations, we may continue with this topic in other posts!

I hope that I have helped you!

My warmest regards!

Profesor Fernanda