TCM Diagnostic Patterns - Qi Deficiency, Blood Stagnation...

Traditional Chinese Medicine utilizies a different language, so to speak, to describe imbalances in the body and mind. What a western medical doctor may diagnose as insomnia, for example, a TCM practitioner might diagnose as Yin Deficiency. Most diagnoses in Chinese medicine are more relational than particular in that they account for the entire set of signs and symptoms a person is experiencing not just the main complaint. For example, if two people are experiencing insomnia they both have the same western diagnosis, however one may have Yin deficiency with some Yang excess and the other person may have all Yin deficiency signs. TCM would apply a treatment protocol for each individual that would account for their set of symptoms but would also treat their insomnia. In other words, in TCM there is not a set treatment for insomnia but a range of diagnoses which contain insomnia as a major indicator.

Below you will find some of the most basic TCM patterns with their related signs and symptoms, tongue and pulse indications, meridian relationships and contributing factors.

General TCM Patterns

Deficiency Patterns

Qi Deficiency

Symptoms


fatigue, loose stools, poor appetite, dizziness, pale face, weak voice/reluctance to speak, sweating with little/no exertion

Tongue

pale

Pulse

empty

Meridians

Spleen, Kidney, Lung, & Heart

Points

ST 36, SP 6, KD 3, LU 9

Factors

poor diet, over work, psychological stress, old age

Yang Deficiency

Symptoms


chills, cold limbs, inability to get warm, loose tools, profuse clear urine, spontaneous sweating, lassitude

Tongue

pale w/white coat

Pulse

slow, deep, weak

Meridians

Spleen, Kidney, & Heart

Points

ST 36, SP 3, KD 3, CV 4, CV 6, GV 4, UB 23

Factors

poor diet, over work, psychological stress, old age

Yin Deficiency

Symptoms


heat in the hands, feet a/or chest, malor flush, night sweats, anxiety, hot flashes

Tongue

red w/little or no coat

Pulse

thin, rapid

Meridians

Stomach, Kidney, Liver, Heart, & Lung

Points

SP 6, KD 6, CV 4, PC 7

Factors

psychological stress, over thinking, alcohol, spicy foods

Blood Deficiency

Symptoms


dizziness, palpitations, insomnia, dry skin a/or hair, poor memory, paleness, fatigue, scanty periods

Tongue

pale, thin, dry

Pulse

thin, choppy

Meridians

Spleen, Liver, & Heart

Points

ST 36, SP 6, LV 3, UB 11, UB 17

Factors

excessive menstruation, blood loss due to internal medical issues, spleen deficiency, emotional strain

Excess Patterns

Cold (Excess Yin)

Symptoms


chills w/no sweating, lack of thirst, clear urine, aversion to cold, loose stools, fatigue

Tongue

pale w/white coat

Pulse

slow, deep, tight

Meridians

Stomach, & Large Intestine

Points

ST 36, GV 4, CV 4, CV 6

Factors

arises when cold enters the body and consumes the yang, can arise from internal or external factors

Heat (Excess Yang)

Symptoms


agitation, anger, insomnia w/nightmares, fever, red face/head, constipation, desire for cold drinks

Tongue

red, dry, w/yellow coat

Pulse

rapid, full

Meridians

Liver, & Stomach

Points

LV 3, ST 41, SP 10, KD 6

Factors

excessive diet w/fried foods a/or alcohol, psychological stress

Mixed Patterns

Qi Stagnation

Symptoms


distention, pains that move around, depression, irritability

Tongue

purple

Pulse

wiry

Meridians

Liver

Points

LI 4, LV 3, ST 36, GB 20

Factors

physical trauma, poor diet, depression, opportunistic infections

Blood Stagnation

Symptoms


pain that is fixed, stabbing a/or severe, dark complexion, fixed masses, bleeding w/clots, purple lips/nails

Tongue

purple

Pulse

wiry, choppy

Meridians

Liver, Stomach, Large Intestine, & Heart

Points

ST 36, SP 6, SP 10, UB 40, UB 17

Factors

physical trauma, longer term qi and blood deficiencies, or excesses of hot or cold

Dampness

Symptoms


heaviness of the head/body, dizziness, poor appetite, stuffy chest, excessive mucus, poor health

Tongue

sticky coating

Pulse

slippery, slow

Meridians

Spleen, Stomach, & Lung

Points

ST 36, ST 40, SP 6, SP 9, ST 8

Factors

poor diet particularly with cold/raw foods, over work, damp living/working conditions

Sinking Qi

Symptoms


sensations of bearing down, any prolapses, fatigue

Tongue

pale

Pulse

empty

Meridians

Stomach, Urinary Bladder, & Governing Vessel

Points

GV 20, CV 6, ST 21 (Stomach prolapse), GV 1 (Anal prolapse)

Factors

longer term qi deficiency

Qi Perversion

Symptoms


belching, cough/asthma, diziness/headache, vertigo (depends on primary meridian)

Tongue

pale w/white coat

Pulse

wiry, choppy

Meridians

Spleen, Stomach, Lung, & Liver

Points

LU 7, LV 3, ST 36, GB 20

Factors

can be caused by excess, deficiencies, a/or dampness

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