Origins of Disharmony – Six Climatic Factors

The origins of disharmony in Chinese Medicine

The concept of cause and effect, in a linear progression, leading to illness is not used in Chinese medicine. As explained in previous blogs Chinese medicine is more concerned with identifying patterns of disharmony in the body and where they impact on the body causing illness/disease.

3 main factors can impact on the body:

1. The Six Climatic factors

2. The Seven Emotions

3. Way of life

This week I will introduce the six climatic factors.

Six Climatic Factors – Wind, Cold, Damp, Dryness, Fire or Heat and Summer-Heat

When discussing the six climatic factors it is important to note:-

  • Wind, Cold, Damp, Dryness, Fire or Heat and Summer-Heat all correspond to normal seasonal changes and are known as the six Qi or liu qi. All living things depend on these climatic factors to exist and they do not normally cause disease.
  • However, if the six qi become excessive and the body’s resistance is weak they can become the six evils; excesses; pernicious influences (liu yin) or pathogenic factors.
  • They can be externally generated and are then called exogenous pathogenic factors or internally generated and are then called endogenous pathogenic factors.
  • If the person’s Wei Qi or Protective Qi is strong the pathogenic factor is expelled
    and the person recovers. If the protective qi is weak or the pathogenic factor is very strong the illness can develop and go further into the body affecting the internal organ systems.
  • Illness due to the six exogenous pathogenic factors is marked by certain features:-

Related to changes in the season. For example pathogenic Wind occurs in spring, Heat occurs in summer, Dryness in autumn, Damp in late summer and Cold in winter.

Related to living and/or working conditions e.g. damp accommodation.

Often more than one factor will “invade” the body e.g. Wind-Cold or Damp-Heat.

In the course of an illness the pathogenic factor may interact and influence other pathogenic factors and can transform into another e.g. Cold into Heat.

Summer-Heat is purely an exogenous pathogenic factor due to exposure to severe heat.

A person may have a predisposition towards a particular climatic factor e.g. Cold, Hot, Damp etc.

In my next blog I will discuss each of the six climatic factors in more detail.

Review of my week:

What did I do well?

I have had some very positive comments about my website this week. I am glad so many people are enjoying learning about Chinese Medicine. It is a subject that never ceases to amaze me and will never bore me.

What would I like to develop?

I am hoping to develop my hypnotherapy skills in the new year and intend to go on further training. I enjoy using hypnotherapy with acupuncture and the two treatments suit each
other providing a very effective treatment.

What did I learn?

I was reading the Journal of Chinese Medicine and apparently eating chocolate is associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a systematic review carried out by UK authors. People who ate the most chocolate showed a 37% reduced risk of heart disease and  29% reduction in stroke compared with those eating the least. Great!

Speak to you soon.

Lorraine x

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