The "Shang Han Lun" also incorporates medicial therapy into theory and patterns of diseases.
Zhang Zhong Jin used short and simple sentences yet the words were layered with different meanings, and lets readers provide their own interpretation (Fan, n.d.). Thus, it is easy and very useful for doctors in various fields to apply in their own practices.
In addition to this, discussion is focused on the more difficult and complicated cases because Zhang Zhong Jin expected that doctors already know the treatment and cure for common medical scenarios (Fan, n.d.). Again, this makes his theoretical discussions more interesting and useful to the practice of medicine.
The "Shang Han Lun" establishes that diseases can be diagnosed through syndrome differentiation according to the 6 channels: the tai yang, yang min, shao yang, tai yin, shao yin, and jue yin. This method of diagnosis and differentiation examines the pathological changes over the route of an exogenous disease or disease due to an external factor, especially for cold induced diseases known as the "Shang Han" (Shen Nong Ltd., 2006).
Based on the differentiation of diseases, syndromes are divided between the yang meridian, which focuses itself on external factors, and the yin meridian, which is about internal factors. The yang meridian is further classified into three: the tai yang, the yang ming, and the shao yang. The yin meridian is the classified into the tai yin, shao yin, and jue yin.
The usual pathway of the progression of a disease through the six channels is illustrated below.
Table 1. a diagram of the progression of diseases
from Shen Nong Limited.
Tai Yang: The greater Yang Syndrome
The location of the three yang meridians are on the exterior parts of the body and as an evil develops the disease's symptoms will worsen along the more internal yin meridians (Shen Nong Ltd., 2006).
The tai yang or the greater yang, refers to cold damage in general. It is also known as the exterior syndrome (Shen Nong Ltd., 2006). It focuses itself on externally contracted diseases that is caused by evils that enter the body from the outside (Greater yang disease: Pulses and signs; treatment). It refers to the original attack of an external cold evil through the pores and interstices of the skin ("TCM diagnosis," 2007).
The tai yang is the first to be affected because this is the greater channel that rules the exterior of the body, such as the skin, the muscles, and the hair. This stage is broad in scope yet milder in its manifestations of symptoms, being external in essence.
There are three major forms of the greater yang syndrome: (1) wind strike, (2) cold damage, and (3) warm disease. These three basic forms reflect Zhang Zhong Jin's understanding that exogenous diseases are due to the wind, the cold, or the warmth. However, less attention is given to the warm disease, and is rendered less