HOW DOES THE BIOCHARACTERISTIC THEORY OF MEDICINE WORK?
Biocharacteristics medicine is the assessment and treatment of dysfunction using biocharacteristics (hot, cold, wetness, dryness, fluid thickness, thinness, etc.) Under this system, disease and dysfunction are described as an imbalance (deficiency or excess) in biocharacteristics. Food, lifestyle, and herbs are also classified according to their qualitative effects on your biology (increasing heat or coldness, for example). Generally, remedies used will have opposite biocharacteristics to the disease. For example, a cooling herb may be used to treat a hot rash.
The biocharacteristic theory of medicine was the dominant medical model for nearly 1,800 years lasting until the 1600s A.D. when it was abruptly abandoned due to advancements in biochemistry. It was adopted in different forms by nearly all silk road cultures from Europe to China. It was called Ayurveda in India, Unani Tibb in the Middle East, and Greek Medicine in Europe.
The biocharacteristic theory of medicine offers a rich, but user-friendly system of wellness for physicians & lay people to alleviate disease, improve quality of life, and harmonize their body using natural substances from their environment.
The goal of the biocharacteristic theory of medicine is to improve health & wellness by balancing the biocharacteristics of the client. Here are the main components:
Assessment of Dysfunction Using Biocharacteristics
Temper the above imbalances back to the ideal by
How Biocharacteristics Improves HealthThis method restores function by:
Treatment HypothesisThe biocharacteristics theory of medicine has value if "classifying and treating categories of bodily phenomena" leads to improved health outcomes when compared with the benefits, costs, and accessibility of other modalities.
An example where western medicine uses biocharacteristics theory is the use of steroids to reduce a range of inflammatory or immune system activity. The herbal actions of western medicine are categorical in nature - they treat a range of bodily processes, through multiple chemical pathways.
LimitationsSome factors cannot be cured by simply recalibrating a person's biocharacteristics. In these cases, biocharacteristic therapy can be palliative. For example:
List of Fundamental (Simple) BiocharacteristicsSee the complete list of biocharacteristics recognized across various the medical traditions.
Mutability of the Body (Mutagens, Doshas, Temperaments)In addition to studying biocharacteristics, we also want to know how biocharacteristics change and their mutability in the body. Many biocharacteristics have a functional relationship with each other - they change together not separately. Or a change in one effects a change in another. These systemic changes in biocharacteristics create a person's constitution.
For example, dryness creates degeneration, heat softens and causes penetration of tissues, oily foods cause heaviness, etc. Because of these functional relationships, simple biocharacteristics often mutate in common, predictable combinations.
Knowledge of these mutagenic processes greatly improves the predictive accuracy of the practitioner. So, practitioners study these combinations and it is practical to name them. In Ayurveda these processes are called doshas. In Unani Tibb (Greek Medicine) they are called temperaments.
Read more about doshas, temperaments and mutagens in "How Biocharacteristics Change".
Recognizing BiocharacteristicsThe presence of a biocharacteristic is known by observable signs and symptoms. For example, a red rash is a sign of heat. Pale or blue skin is a sign of coldness. When a practitioner sees many signs of a biocharacteristic, the practitioner may conclude the biocharacteristic is aggravated systemically.
Biocharacteristics are recognized in:
Classifying DiseaseIn a consultation, a practitioner will assess the overall constitution in terms of biocharacteristics. The practitioner will then review various signs and symptoms to determine cause and effect relationship (pathogenesis) back to one or more root causes. This analysis of pathogenesis helps differentiate a primary diagnosis into one or more subtypes. For example, in Ayurveda there are 8 types of fevers. Note how each cause and effect is expressed in biocharacteristics terms.
Example 1: Poor digestion, low immunity from deficiency
Classifying CausesAlongside biocharacteristics, causes are also extensively classified by type so all contributing factors and circumstances can be addressed. Causes, contributing factors and circumstances are classified according to the 10 categories of being.
The time of onset or recurrence, place of deposition, presence of exogenous factors, and movement of biocharacteristics are all essential to pinpointing a the appropriate remedies and treatment strategy. These circumstances may even identify a disease subtype. All circumstances of health, disease, and each biocharacteristic is itself analyzed (recursively) to determine its biocharacteristics. A senior practitioner will have memorized the subtypes and circumstances of many different kinds of disorders.
The 10 Categories of Being (from Aristotle)
Educational LevelsA beginning practitioner learns how to assess the biocharacteristics of the client and restore balance as a health coach. The intermediate practitioner will strive for specific knowledge of each disease subtype. An advanced biocharacteristics doctor also knows how to safely administer the cleansing process.
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