1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

The Yin and Yang of the Thyroid:

A Look at Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for Thyroid Disease


Updated April 22, 2014

by Mary J. Shomon

Dr. Patrick Purdue, Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture Physician. Dr. Purdue is a graduate of the Florida Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He completed an eighteen month postgraduate program in Traditional Chinese Medicine gynecology, and regularly attends over 80 hours of continuing education yearly. His practice focuses on women's health, gastrointestinal conditions and autoimmune diseases.

According to Dr. Purdue -- some keypoints about Traditional Chinese Medicine and in particular its role of for thyroid conditions:
  • Re. The yin/yang concept: Yin, represented by the dark field in the yin/yang symbol, equates in medicine to body fluids such as blood, and to the actual structure of the body itself. Yang, represented by the white field in the yin/yang symbol, equates to function and movement.
  • The other important idea in TCM is the concept of "qi" (pronounced "chee" - often interpreted as “energy”). There is a famous statement about pain in TCM which reads, "If there is pain there is no free flow. If there is free flow there is no pain."
  • The goal, through the use of dietary modification, medicinal formulas or acupuncture, is to remove the obstacles so that qi and blood flow smoothly, or so that function is restored. This is the "return to balance."
  • Diseases in TCM are thought to be the result of extremes, or overabundance, of the "six qi," and the "seven affects." The six qi are wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness and fire. The seven affects are joy, anger, anxiety, thought, sorrow, fear, and fright. So the idea here is that excessive amounts of any of the above can create a problem in one or more organ systems in the body and eventually lead to disease.
  • To diagnose imbalances information used to determine a diagnosis is gathered through the "four examinations." These are inspection, smelling and listening, inquiry, and palpation.
  • Once information from the four examinations is gathered, a pattern diagnosis is developed.
  • The major contribution of TCM is its way of thinking about a case, the whole thinking process, not herbs and acupuncture.
  • If one wishes to use some of the common "immune-boosting" Chinese herbs, patients should not experiment with these medicinals on themselves, particularly in autoimmune conditions, and should seek the skills of a TCM practitioner who knows how to work these formulas
More detailed information on Dr. Purdue's perspectives is featured online.


Patrick Purdue, D.O.M., A.P.
10010 107th St
Seminole Blvd
Seminole, Fl.
Web: http://www.patrickpurdue.com

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.