Syndromes in Chinese Medicine


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Building Blocks in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine syndromes are the building blocks used to explain disease.

These building blocks sometimes use the same words as in Western medicine but they nearly always mean something else, although there may be a connection.


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For instance, the Kidney (capital K) energy includes the physical kidney (small k) organs. However, the Kidney's sphere is greater than the kidney's. Also, the Kidney's actions are described differently to those of the kidney.

These Building Blocks include

If you despair of making sense of it, well! That's why I write this site.

Initially it was for my patients but now others find it useful too.

However, it has turned into a larger project than originally intended and pages covering all the different kinds of building blocks take time to produce. So please have patience.

If there is a syndrome you would like me to explain which you do not find here, write to me: it could become next on my list.

Equally, I am adding Western-named diseases so that they can be explained in terms of these Chinese building blocks.

Classical Acupuncture treats Syndromes, not Western-named 'diseases'

When you see an acupuncturist trained in classical Chinese medicine, you may be expecting him or her to use a specific set of acupuncture points to treat your Western named disease such as

But he won't! First he'll diagnose you in terms of one of these building blocks - and then he'll decide on the appropriate treatment for the building block(s) concerned.

Because the syndromes are different for every individual and Western disease, two patients could have the same treatment in terms of acupuncture points for what seem to be different 'Western' diseases.

Equally, the same Western 'disease' in two patients could have quite different treatments.

It is very much a shorthand for an acupuncturist to say he can treat a Western disease, because Chinese medicine and acupuncture have evolved over 3000 years to treat syndromes.

Still ... an increasing number of Western named disease conditions are now recognised as being successfully treatable with acupuncture, such as back-pain.

Here's a list of some of these building blocks in Chinese medicine that are covered by this site. Click on some of them and you may find a description of a condition, part of which you are familiar with. That may be because people often have more than one syndrome at a time.

Return from Syndromes to Home page.


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If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.

If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.


Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott Books

Please note! The Kindle editions are less easy to read! Although the paper editions cost more, they are much easier to read and to refer back and forth to the contents and index. But ... there is no paper edition of Yang Deficiency as yet.

Here are some of the books Jonathan has written:

Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress

Yin Deficiency - Burnout and Exhaustion

Yang Deficiency - Get Your Fire Burning Again!

Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine



3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!

By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.

For the Latest Reviews of 'Qi Stagnation', click here!

NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.



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