The diagnostic model of Shang Han Lun – dynamics vs. symptom

Speaker: Hila Yaffe

Language: Hebrew

Field: Diagnostics, Classics / Philosophy, Practice

This Lecture is suitable for All levels

The Shang Han Lun is an ancient clinical text, which supplies the practitioner with tools for differential diagnosis and principles of treatment. Despite the fact it was written over 2000 years ago, the insights expressed in this text, are still relevant to the understanding of the human physiology and pathology in modern times. The text outlines a physiological model of 6 systems, which are responsible for all bodily functions. Each system has it’s characteristic dynamics, mechanisms of actions and related pathologies. The symptoms mentioned in the text, are not intended to create a definite clinical presentation, but to be used as a means of demonstrating the dynamics of the pathology. Understanding the underlying mechanism of disease, reveals deep and useful insights related to a large variety of disorders, including those not directly mentioned in the text.

The text does not solely deal with the 6 system model. As a clinician, Zhang Zhong Jing, who wrote the text, realized that a disease does not always fit into the model. This situation is referred to as “huai bing”, a complicated disease. In this case, the instruction is to not to use the symptoms as a presentation of dynamics, but to address the symptoms directly.


Shang Han Lun Explained. Greta Young, Robin Marchment
Shang Han Lun: On Cold Damage, Translation and Commentaries. Feng Ye, Nigel Wiseman, Craig Mitchell
Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine, Huang Huang

This post is also available in: Hebrew

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