Introduction to TCM

Basics of TCM

  • Yin-Yang | Five Elements

Zang-Fu Theories

  • Zang Organs | Fu Organs

Classification of Antineoplastic Herbal Medicines

Characteristics of Herbal Medicines


  • By Auscultation & Olfaction
  • By Inspection


Theories of Channels (Meridians) and Collaterals

Reference: A Modern View of the Immune System

Differentiation of Syndromes

  • 8 Principles
  • 6 Channels 4 Stages
  • Syndromes of Zang-Fu Organs


  • Exogenous | Pestilential
  • Pathogenic Factors
  • Emotional

Materia Medica

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Other Pathogenic Factors

Besides the previously mentioned pathogenic factors there are also pathogenic factors relating to irregular food intake, over-strain and stress or insufficient physical exertion, traumatic injuries, parasites, and pathological products such as phlegm-humor and blood stasis.

1. Irregular Diet

Over-eating or hunger: Voracious eating or hunger may give rise to disease. Hunger causes malnutrition and leads to an insufficient supply of qi and blood, which causes general body weakness. Overeating damages the digestive and absorptive functions, and manifests the symptoms of epigastric and abdominal distension and pain, belching, acid regurgitation, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

Partiality for a particular kind of food: Food intake should be varied. In this way necessary nutrient substances are guaranteed. Partiality to a particular food may bring on disease due to insufficient nutrients. For example: long-term intake of polished white rice may cause beriberi; long-term drinking of iodine-deficient water may cause goiter; indulgence in spicy or boiling hot food may give rise to dryness of the mouth, halitosis, diabetes, etc.; indulgence in smoking, alcoholic drinks, or greasy and highly flavored food may produce pathological phlegm indigestion, stuffy chest, excessive sputum, or boils and ulcers.

Intake of contaminated food: Eating contaminated, poisonous, or stale food (food poisoning) may impair stomach and intestinal functioning causing clinical manifestations such as epigastric and abdominal distension and pain, nausea, vomiting, borborygmus, diarrhea, etc.

Over-strain and stress or deficient physical exertion: Lack of physical exertion may cause retardation of qi and blood circulation, unhealthy zang-fu organs, general weakness, lassitude, anorexia, dizziness, palpitation, insomnia, etc., also a liability to contract diseases caused by exogenous pathogenic factors. Prolonged over-strain may bring on lassitude, weakness and tiredness of the four extremities, dizziness, hypersomnia, palpitation, spontaneous sweating, asthma or dyspnea due to physical exertion.

In addition, traditional Chinese medicine considers that excessive sexual activity consumes the kidney essence manifested by soreness and weakness of the knees, lumbago, dizziness and vertigo, ringing in the ears, lassitude and listlessness, or even spermatorrhea, impotence, and leukorrhea.

2. Traumatic Injuries and Parasites

Traumatic injuries include incisions, gunshot and sword wounds, scalds and burns, contusions, sprains or animal stings and bites. Mild cases that only sustain injuries to the skin include pain, bleeding, bruises, and hematoma due to the obstruction of blood vessels. While severe cases may include injuries to the tendons, bones, and internal organs manifesting as joint dislocation, fracture, hemorrhage due to rupture of the internal organs, prostration, etc.

3. Blood Stagnation and Phlegm-Humor

Blood Stagnation

Under normal conditions, blood circulates continually within the blood vessels at a certain speed. Any retarded circulation of blood or extravasated blood in spaces between the tissues may form blood stasis. its syndromes are characterized as follows:


The pain location is fixed with local tenderness and has a stabbing or boring sensation.


Blood stagnation prevents normal flow inside the vessels causing extravasation and hemorrhage. The blood is often deep red or dark purplish.

Ecchymosis or Petechia

Blood stagnation subcutaneously forms ecchymosis or petechiae accompanied by local pain. Initially they present a red color, then change to purple or yellow, finally disappearing. If the tongue proper is purple, or ecchymosis or petechiae are present, this is significant in the diagnosis of diseases caused by blood stagnation.

Mass Tumor

Most mass tumors, especially large lumps in the abdominal cavity, are considered to be related to stagnation of the blood. The location of the tumors should be fixed and unmovable, accompanied by pain.


Phlegm-humor can form due to the accumulation of body fluids, therefore it has a close relationship to functional disorders of the lung, spleen, and kidney which control water metabolism. It may also be produced by an over-indulgence in alcohol or fatty and highly flavored foods, leading to stagnation of liver qi and derangement of the functional activities of qi.

Traditional Chinese Medicine pages by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

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With over 3000 years of experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has remain one of the many fascinating areas in ancient Chinese culture. First known to be documented in the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine, TCM is believed to have been practised in as early as 475 to 221 B.C. The field of working knowledge of TCM stretches from anything related to general healthcare practice to the philosophy of the mind, the logic of life, religion, and even to as far as cosmology and astronumerology. This is why in order to thoroughly understand the concepts behind TCM, one must be comprehensive in learning and embracing the Chinese culture as a whole.

Just as Douglas Hoff put it when he explained about accupuncture, "The systems of TCM uses the concepts of elements and meridians and are completely immersed in the Asian cosmology which takes shape through the religions." The meridian-brain mechanism, the fundamental working concept of acupuncture, in which the pain block from the message that the needle or burning cone of herbs gives to the point of stimulus, was only found centuries later by the West through science and technology.


Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA Thank you for visiting this TCM and acupuncture information website. If you have previously been to this website, you might have noticed that some of the pages on ancient historical ideas and holistic thinkings related to Chinese metaphysics are temporarily taken offline. This is because I will be revamping the whole website and be moving those information into a new \"Ancient Chinese Culture\" section so as to reflect a more current perspective on the interpretation of some of the fundamental concepts as well as to include some of the latest information in the area. But if you have just found this website for the very first time, I welcome you again and wish you could find what you require and, hopefully, you could also be benefitted from reading the articles I published on this website.

Please be patient and do come and check out this website frequently as it's being revamped.

Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

March 28, 2020.


This website is published, edited and designed by Raymond Cheng, and reflects only and only his personal views and opinions in his individual capacity. The information available at this website is not intended directly or by implication to either diagnose or treat any medical, emotional, or psychological condition or disorder. It is also not intended to create a physician-patient relationship between you and I or between you and Wyith Institute™ and The Office of Dr Raymond K K Cheng. The information here is not a substitute for advice and treatment provided by your physician or by another healthcare professional. It is always recommended that consultation with local healthcare providers be obtained for any of your specific health or medical concerns. Furthermore, any products that can be purchased (yet you can see I don't have much to sell here) through advertisers' banners or through links to other websites are not either explicitly or implicitly given any warranty or endorsement by me, my colleagues, Wyith Institute™ or any of its associated businesses.