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Coldness as an ethiopathogenetic agent is not too significant for modern medicine. Exposure to coldness can result in catching a cold or, in the worst case, getting pneumonia. Contrary to this, thousands of years ago Chinese medics regarded coldness as the main cause of the majority of diseases. They called it "the evil energy". It enters into acupuncture channels through skin and may stay in different places in the organism. Disease develops in the place where coldness has stayed. Types of diseases, as we know them today, are not classified by names but their essence is determined by the fixation of coldness in different places inside the acupunctural body network. Pathogen is always the same coldness.
From the point of view of modern medicine, it is both a revolutionary and a provocative concept. It is in sharp contrast to modern understanding of diseases which is committed to finding a certain cause for every pathological deviation, and specific causal treatment according to the cause.
Some distinguished contemporary acupuncturists tend to show inclination towards the hypothesis on the ethiopathogenetic significance of coldness although they see it in a wider context. Shoji Kobayashi, a leading Japanese acupuncturist, wrote an interesting paper about the relation of coldness and disease. For example, he wrote: "When there is spontaneous pain it indicates the present and extent of coldness in the body" (S.Kobayashi: "Shakujyu Therapy", North American Journal of Oriental Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 22, 2001, p. 8). In a different article, Akira Kawashima concludes that " all diseases and pathologies probably have Cold in the background somewhere" (North American Journal of Oriental Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 44, 2008, p. 14).
"Extraordinary" acupuncture meridians do exist and there is respectable literature in English about them. It is generally known that excellent therapeutic results are achieved by activating these meridians (see, for example: Y. Manaka: Chasing the Dragon's Tail, Paradigm Publications, 1995). In his book Les Reseaux d'acupuncture (Librarie le Francois, 1974, pp. 116- 133), Dr. Maurice Mussat, one of the leading French acupuncture theoreticians, wrote about his thrilling conclusion which he came to by analyzing the real function of "extraordinary" meridians. He concluded that something from the inside of the body is "driven out" to the outside by stimulating the points of the meridians (in the original text: conducting (the disease) inside-out ("conduction dedans-dehors", p. 118), connecting (the disease) inside-out ("connexion interieur-exterieur", p. 120) and extracting (the disease) from deep down to the surface ("extraction de la profondeur vers la surface", p. 128)). This "something" Mussat simply called "energy". Is Mussat's "energy" the "evil energy" or coldness that the ancient Chinese spoke about? In my e-book A Touch of Cold (Amazon; Barnes&Noble, 2012) I tried to connect these two assumptions into a unique concept. Coldness as the cause of diseases, which is "driven out" through "extraordinary" channels a type of medical exorcism. Although A Touch of Cold is a fiction novel, it is visible that the stated thesis is suitable and, from what I know, it has not been commented yet in contemporary alternative medicine circles.
Neven Orhel MD
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