The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
As explained under Exterior-Full, Exterior pattern should be Full by definition as it is characterized by the invasion of an external Pernicious Influence, which then fight with the Body's Defensive Qi.
However, according to a person’s preexisting condition, one can further differentiate an Exterior pattern between Full and Empty, but only in relative terms. For the Empty type, the symptom of aversion to cold happens more due to Qi and Blood Deficiency, while for the Full type it is more due to external Evil invasion. It occurs more to the elderly or these with weak constitutions.
The key manifestation difference is that the Empty type evolves slight sweating while the Full type has no sweat, because the deficient Nutritive Qi fails to hold sweat in place. There are mild or no fever as the Defensive Qi is too weak to react to the Evils' invasion.
There are two types of Exterior-Empty. One is quite similar to the pattern of Greater Yang Attack of Wind, which is the first stage of the Six Stages theory. The aversion to cold is due to the obstruction of the space between the skin and muscles by Wind: this impairs the circulation of Defensive Qi which cannot fulfill its function of warming the muscles.
The other type is due to the Lung and Spleen Qi Deficiency, which then fails to supply Defensive Qi to fight the external Evils.
The Exterior in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Exterior in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Slow (Chi) or floating (Fu)
Tongue description: Pale tongue with thin white coating
Diagnosing a pattern in Chinese Medicine is no easy feat and should be left to professional practitioners.
In particular one has to know how to differentiate between different types of pulses and tongue coatings, shapes and colors. Here patients with Exterior-Empty will tend to exhibit slow (Chi) or floating (Fu) pulses.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Exterior-Empty might experience symptoms like weakness, fatigue, headaches and aversion to wind (full list here above).
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Releases pathogens from the muscle layer. Regulates the Nutritive and Protective Qi.
Gui Zhi Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Cold.