Eight Principles in TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine all symptoms of diseases are based on the theory of eight principals.  They are grouped in the four pairs of opposites. They are Cold and Heat, Exterior and Interior, Deficiency and Excess, Yin and Yan. These four pairs represent eight elements and explain the nature of diseases and the location of pathological changes. These principals lay in the basics of differentiating the syndromes and giving the analysis. 

Cold and Heat 

These two principles indicate the nature of disease.

Manifestations of cold syndromes include absence of thirst, slow pulse, tastelessness in the mouth and many others. These are the signs of having an excessive Yin and may be caused by Yang deficiency. Cold syndromes may be also caused by pathological changes. 

Fever, thirst, red eyes, rapid pulse, red tongue, constipation, yellow urine are the symptoms of heat syndromes. They all be caused by yin deficiency

Exterior and Interior

Exterior conditions can affect muscles, skin and channels. This refers to flu, viruses and cold. These conditions are caused by the invasion of the body by pathogens while Interior result from pathogens entering the interior of the body. These symptoms affect brain, bones, nerves and other inner organs.

Deficiency and Excess 

These principles are used to analyze the body resistance to pathogenic factors. Deficiency is explained by the lack of something in the body. It may be caused by weak constitution, deficiency in qi flow or loss of weight. Among the symptoms are weakness, sleepiness, dull pain and others. 

Irritability, rapid breathing, constipation, pain in chest and abdomen are the main symptoms of Excess. To give you a clear idea here is an example: a common pretty fast developing cold with high temperature, sore throat and sweating.

Yin and Yang 

Exterior, Heat and Excess belong under Yang; Interior, Cold and Deficiency belong to Yin. 

People who belong to yang category are usually dynamic and outgoing. They are extremely energetic and choose careers to display their abilities. It is very often hard for them to sit back and relax. That’s why the symptoms of diseases are usually sudden and among them are fever, thirst, swellings and other Yan symptoms. Yan people need to start having breaks and to calm down from time to time. Chinese herbs will help them.

Yin people on the contrary are pretty much quiet. The choose careers where they can be supportive. They are reserved both home and at work. And they are happy with their quiet lives. The problem may be in their qi flow. To strengthen their qi flow and yang they also should take special herbs.

It doesn’t mean that being reserved or active is either bad or good. All our emotions and states are natural. Sometimes we can be tired and quiet and sometimes we feel happy and are dynamic. The only thing that is very important is the balance.