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

Back to Home

Differentiating Syndromes according to the Theories of the Six Channels, Four Stages of Wei, Qi, Ying and Xue, and Sanjiao

The theories of the six channels, four stages of wei, qi, ying and xue are methods of differentiating syndromes of febrile diseases caused by exogenous pathogenic factors.

By the theory of Six Channels

This method first appeared in the Shang han lun (The Treatise on Febrile Diseases Caused by Exogenous Pathogenic Factors) by Zhang Zhongjing of the eastern Han Dynasty (25 B.C.-220 A.D.). In this book various clinical manifestations of febrile disease caused by exogenous pathogenic factors such as Taiyang syndromes, Yangming syndromes, Shaoyang syndromes, Taiyin syndromes, Shaoyin syndromes, and Jueyin syndromes are used to explain the location and nature of pathological changes, the strength and weakness of anti-pathogenic and pathogenic qi, and the tendency of disease development, as a guide for clinical treatment.

More about differentiating syndromes according to the Theories of the Six Channels.

By the theory of Four Stages of Wei, Qi, Ying, and Xue

This method was first put forward by Ye Tianshi, a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.) physician, in his book "Wan Gan Wen Re Pain" (On Febrile Diseases Caused by Pathogenic Mild Heat). He classified the clinical manifestations of febrile diseases caused by pathogenic mild heat into four stage, wei (outer defensive) stage, qi (inner defensive) stage, yin (nutrient) stage, and xue (blood) stage. These are the four body strata used the explain the location and severity of pathological changes, and which form the basis of clinical treatment.

More about differentiating syndromes according to the Theories of the Four Stages.

By the Theory of Sanjiao

This was advocated by Wu Jutong, another Qing Dynasty physician. He summarized clinical manifestations of epidemic febrile diseases as having three areas: the upper, middle, and lower portions of the body cavity. These are also used to guide clinical treatment.

More about differentiating syndromes according to the Theories of Sanjiao.

These three methods are not contradictory, but rather they supplement each other's deficiencies. They can be used jointly to differentiate febrile diseases (i.e. illnesses that suddenly occur with an onset of fever) caused by exogenous pathogenic factors.

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

  Health Related • TCM Basics   Religious • Commentary   Education and Training •

Copyright © 1995-2021 Wyith Institute™ and The Office of Dr Raymond K K Cheng.
All rights reserved.

This site is best viewed with Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6.0 or above, minimum 1024x768 resolution with 16M color-depth. The Office of Dr Raymond K K Cheng, Wyith Institute™, and the website and its associated personnel do not endorse external sites. This website is only meant solely for research and informational purpose and should never be taken as a source of medical advice. Please consult a professional physician if you are sick. All external sites will open in a new browser window.

Contact the editor at raymond {dot} cheng {at} oxford alumni {dot} org

DI63-048 (c) Image DJ Image Dictionary
Photo © Image DJ Image Dictionary

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.