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Meridian Based Patterns of Diagnosis and Zang - Fu Syndromes


In Chinese medicine there are several methods one may use when doing syndrome differentiation.  The most widely used is zang-fu pattern identification.  This article will discuss how a meridian based approach, such as taught in Meridian Circuit Systems, can be integrated into zang-fu patterns.  

In Meridian Circuit Systems 15 major patterns are recognized that are based on the various connections between the meridians.  One common pattern that can be seen in clinic on a regular basis is what we may call the Jue Yin – Yang Ming pattern.  In this pattern liver disharmonies are affecting either the stomach and/or large intestine.  The Jue Yin – Yang Ming pattern may be associated with zang-fu patterns such as liver overacting on the stomach, liver fire, liver qi obstructing the large intestine, and liver qi stagnation.  

For a zang-fu pattern like liver fire we may choose to work with a number of different meridian circuits depending on the client’s unique clinical presentations.  For liver fire patterns that primarily affect the head, eyes, or ears it is usually best to use the Jue Yin – Shao Yang circuit.  This is because the shao yang meridians pass through the area of the head and are also good for clearing liver fire.  

In cases where liver fire is affecting the yang ming organs it is best to use the jue yin – yang ming circuit.  In cases like this the clients top concerns will include symptoms like acid reflux, burning abdominal pain, or constipation.  By distinguishing between a liver fire pattern that is primarily affecting the digestive organs, from a liver fire pattern that is affecting the head, we can do a better job in determining the most appropriate meridians and points to use.  

In conclusion, we find that for any zang-fu pattern there are numerous meridian circuits that may be used to treat it, and the proper circuit is determined by the client’s top three concerns.  By integrating meridian based approaches to pattern identification it is possible to achieve more efficient clinical results with fewer needles.  

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