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How can you explain chronic illness layer in TCM?


Hello everyone!

In homeopathy and other therapy methods which implies “energetic remedies” the idea of “layers” exist. For example in homeopathy the so called “Hering’s law” states the following (words are from Dr. James Tyler Kent):

The cure must proceed from centre to circumference. From centre to circumference is from above downward, from within outwards, from more important to less important organs, from the head to the hands and feet.

Every homeopathic practitioner who understands the art of healing, knows that the symptoms which go off in these directions remain away permanently. Moreover, he knows that symptoms which disappear in the reverse order of their coming are removed permanently. It is thus he knows that the patient did not merely get well in spite of the treatment, but that he was cured by the action of the remedy. If a homeopathic physician goes to the bedside of a patient and, upon observing the onset of the symptoms and the course of the disease, sees that the symptoms do not follow this order after his remedy, he knows that he has had but little to do with the course of things.

So this layer theory is universal I guess, not only observable in homeopathy.

My questions now: Did you experienced that during treatment of a patient layers was dissolved and that the symptoms of the past reappeared?
And how do you explain this phenomena in TCM?


I could make a much lengthier discussion out of this, but there is definitely the same/similar concept in Chinese Medicine and this phenomenon is well accounted for in TCM theory. The idea of layered patterns is well laid out as is the proper order that you approach layered conditions to get to the deepest root.

Some of this is marginally discussed in my article on developing an acupuncture treatment plan. But, admittedly, a full discussion of the topic would be lengthy but in so many ways simply requires deep clinical experience to properly approach it.


Like Chad said, this can be a pretty deep discussion. Certainly there is an overlap between oriental medicine and homeopathy with the concept of layers/stages of both disease progression and recovery. However I have not found Hering’s Law to be particularly applicable to oriental medicine. That is to say I have not found that symptoms manifest in reverse or that past symptoms reappear while treating ‘newer’ ones.

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