Contrary to Western Medicine where one tends to look at the body as an accumulation of isolated parts, Chinese Medicine views the body as a system where everything influences everything else in some way.
In the body system, the ultimate goal is harmony: everything coexisting perfectly.
However more often than not one suffers from so-called "patterns of disharmony", when some form of dysfunction prevents harmony. Such patterns can be acute with a rapid onset, often qualified as "Excess", or they can be chronic and slow-developing, often qualified "Deficient".
Patterns have either External causes like the so-called "Six Evils" or Internal causes which are almost always one of the Seven Emotions.
There are many different ways to classify and diagnose patterns, which we've tried to explain under our article on Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine.