What are The six pathogens In Acupuncture ?

| February 25, 2010 | 0 Comments | 622 views

The six pathogens are wind,cold,summer heat,damp,dryness and?re
(representing warmth and heat).Under normal circumstances these climatic
changes do not pose a threat and are seen simply as six types of qi found in
the natural environment(Xinnong,1999).However,if the factors are
particularly strong,or the change from one factor to another is sudden and
unexpected,or if the body's ability to produce anti-pathogenic qi to combat
the factors is weak,the pathogens can invade the body and cause harm.Each
of the factors invades the exterior of the body(skin,mouth and nose)and
may act in isolation or combination.In the case of musculoskeletal pain,the
factors produce the bi syndromes(see page 54).
Wind is the main pathogen,as all the other pathogens depend on it for
transport into the body.It is yang in nature and has two important
characteristics in TCM.Firstly,wind is characterised by`upward and
outward dispersion'and is therefore likely to invade the upper part of the
body and the external surface.Wind therefore attacks the head and face,and
the lungs and skin.Secondly,wind by nature`moves'.Conditions resulting
from wind therefore show movement as part of their symptoms.Pains which
change position,skin marking which appears and disappears,convulsions,
spasms and tremors are all wind signs.Points such as GB-20(wind pool),
GV-16(palace of wind),and BL-12(wind gate)are used to treat wind-related
conditions.
Cold is yin in nature,and is characterised by contraction and stagnation.
Exposure to cold after sweating or when wearing thin clothing allows the
cold to invade the body.Cold will consume the yang qi of the body and the
warming function of the body is therefore impaired.Symptoms are cold
limbs,sti?ness,cold pain and contractions.There is a dislike of cold and lack
of sweating.Treatment often involves moxibustion and warm needling,and
reinforcing techniques.
Damp(a yin factor)occurs as a result of climate but also from damp rooms
and exposure to wind in damp sweaty clothing.Damp is characterised
by heaviness.Diseases caused by damp tend to be prolonged and show
pain from obstruction of qi.There is poor bodyˉuid dispersion
resulting in oedema,and the tongue is swollen.Damp will a?ect the
spleen and spleen points(especially SP-9 for oedema,and SP-6 for
oedema of gynaecological origin)are often used to treat it.
Fire is a yang factor,with heat and then warmth milder forms of?re.
Symptoms include fever,thirst,headache,sweating and restlessness.
There is a rapid pulse and a red tongue.Yinˉuid is consumed and dry
lips,throat and mouth will result.Heat can in turn stir up wind which
a?ects the liver.Reducing techniques are used when needling in the
presence of?re.
Summer heat is not commonly seen in northern European countries.
It occurs from over-exposure to the sun.Summer heat is yang in
nature and the main symptoms are fever,consumption of bodyˉuids,
thirst,dizziness and lassitude.
Dryness a?ects the lung particularly.In invades through the mouth
and nose and impairs the lung's function of`moistening'.Signs include
dry cough and sticky sputum.

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