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e topic by Subhuti Dharmananda: itmonline.org/arts/autoimmune.html ).
The character for disease in Chinese medicine is 病, Bing, or 疾, Ji. "Disease" is "any disease condition of the body or part of the body that can be named." For example: "Cholera" (huo luan), or "malaria" (nue ji). I put the name of the disease in quotations so that we will remember that despite the translation ("malaria", "cholera"), we are not necessarily talking about a disease identical to malaria or cholera according to their classification in conventional medical literature.
Differing from "disease" (Bing), there is a term in Chinese medicine called syndrome, or pattern (證, Zheng). A syndrome is a "disease manifestation which indicates the ailment's nature, location and etiology". "Disease" can be characterized by various syndromes".
There are a number of diseases in Chinese medicine that can be interpreted as, but not only as, a clinical picture of autoimmune disease. The most prominent among them is Impediment 痹, Bi, which may point to a clinical picture of arthritis.
In Chinese medicine, the treatment is individualistic. The diagnosis is carried out by looking at "signs and symptoms" which indicate a syndrome, or use is of the terminology of the five phases, or yin and yang, but not according to disease as is in conventional classification.
There are close to eighty autoimmune diseases, different from one another by the clinical picture they produce. Each of these diseases may be close to or similar to one of many Chinese "diseases", and will receive a number of different diagnoses (syndromes) in the terminology of Chinese medicine; what is referred to as 'differential diagnosis'. In addition, in the treatment of a certain disease (Chinese), each patient will receive a diagnosis specific to them. It is possible that this diagnosis will be different than that of their friend with the "same" ailment. For this reason I remind myself again and again, remind my patients and students as well, that our specialization as practitioners of Chinese medicine is not a specializati