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.
This is one of the four patterns of the Greater Yang stage, the first stage of the Six Stages theory.
As opposed to Attack of Wind, another pattern of the Greater Yang stage, there is an emphasis on Cold rather than Wind. As such when a key symptom of Attack of Wind is the sweating, in this pattern there is no sweating. This is because Cold contracts the pores, which prevents sweating.
The slight fever is not necessarily an actual fever but more the hot feeling of the patient’s skin on palpation, what the Chinese call "heat emission" of the skin.
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 occipital headache and stiff neck are caused by the obstruction of Qi in the Greater Yang channels of Small Intestine and Gallbladder. These channels pass through the neck and head, hence the symptoms.
'Cold' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Cold pattern in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin) or floating (Fu)
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 Greater Yang Attack of Cold will tend to exhibit tight (Jin) or floating (Fu) pulses.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Greater Yang Attack of Cold might experience symptoms like occipital headaches, aversion to cold, slight fever and absence of sweating (full list here above).
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Releases exterior cold. Treats wheezing.
Ma Huang Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ephedra (Ma Huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Cold.