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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Damp is the main pathogenic factor causing disease in the late summer since it is the most humid and rainy season. It is a yin pathogenic factor with the following characteristics:

Pathogenic damp stops the functional activity of qi and leads to the injury of spleen yang

The spleen functions best in a dry environment and is susceptible to dampness, therefore pathogenic damp is liable to attack spleen yang. If spleen yang is checked by pathogenic damp, it will cause a dysfunction of transportation and transformation, and obstruct the functional activity of qi. The following symptoms will occur: distension and fullness of the epigastric and abdominal regions, anorexia, sweetish taste in the mouth, loose stool, cold extremities, etc.

Pathogenic damp is a substantial pathogenic factor characterized by heaviness, turbidity, viscosity, stagnation, and sluggishness

Invasion by pathogenic damp also causes the symptoms of heaviness, distension and soreness of the trunk and extremities. The secretions and excretions of the patient has foul and turbid features. The disease duration lingers.

Pathogenic damp is characterized by a downward direction.

It is a yin pathogenic factor which often attacks the lower portion of the body. The Suwen says, "When damp attacks the body, it will affect the lower portion first."6 Clinical manifestations are ulceration and edema of the lower extremities, soreness of muscles, and joint pain of the lower limbs, etc.

Commonly seen syndromes caused by pathogenic damp are exterior damp, and damp bi.

Main clinical manifestations of exterior damp: fever, aversion to cold, fever not lowered after sweating, heaviness of the body and head, sore aching of the four limbs, white, thin and slippery tongue coating, soft and slow pulse.

Those symptoms are due to the injury of the body surface by pathogenic damp. When there is obstruction by dampness, it damages the yang qi of the body, and blocks the defensive qi. So fever and aversion to cold appear. Damp is characterized by heaviness, turbidity, and stickiness. Thus fever is not lowered after sweating. Moreover, other manifestations such as heaviness of the body and head, sore aching of the four limbs, slippery tongue coating, and soft pulse occur.

Damp bi is one of the bi syndromes due to excessive pathogenic damp, also known as fixed by syndrome.

Manifestations of damp bi: continued soreness at one location, aching and heaviness of the joints, motor impairment, and numbness of the skin.

Bi syndromes indicate the obstruction by wind, cold, or damp in the channels which damages the joints, skin, and muscles. Damp is characterized by heaviness and turbidity, so heaviness is fixed in the joints.

More about the other Exogenous Factors: Wind, Cold, Summer-heat, Dryness, Fire Heat and Mild Heat.

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.