Greater Yang Attack of Wind

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 太阳 中风

Pinyin name: Tài Yáng Zhòng Fēng

Associated TCM concepts: The six stages theory Wind

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Sneezing Stiff neck Slight fever Slight sweating Aversion to wind and two other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Slow (Chi), Floating (Fu)

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 Cold, another pattern of the Greater Yang stage, there is an emphasis on Wind rather than Cold.

As far as symptoms are concerned, 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 same obstruction in the space between skin and muscles leads to the symptom of mild sweating as the deficient Nutritive Qi fails to hold sweat in place.

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. 

Lastly 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.

Diagnosing Greater Yang Attack of Wind

'Yang' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Yang in Chinese Medicine

Pulse type(s): Slow (Chi) or floating (Fu)

Possible symptoms: Sneezing Stiff neck Slight fever Slight sweating Aversion to wind Occipital headaches Slight aversion to cold

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 Wind 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 Greater Yang Attack of Wind might experience symptoms like slight aversion to cold, aversion to wind, slight fever and slight sweating (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Greater Yang Attack of Wind

Gui Zhi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Releases pathogens from the muscle layer. Regulates the Nutritive and Protective Qi.

Formula summary

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.

Besides Greater Yang Attack of Wind, Gui Zhi Tang is also used to treat Exterior-Cold or Exterior-Empty.

Read more about Gui Zhi Tang

Most important herbs used to treat Greater Yang Attack of Wind