The different diagnostic concepts

The different concepts of traditional Oriental medicine and modern medicine.

The word diagnostic is often spoken of in traditional Oriental medicine, but there is often confusion between the word Shiyo (証) and Shindan (診断). Shiyo is the word that traditional medicine uses and the word Shindan is modern medicine, it means that it was developed in the West.

Etymologically the word Shiyo is composed of two letters, the one on the left is elucidated or clarified the cause or origin of something, and the one on the right is the way we will come to elucidate the cause of something. In the case of its use in oriental medicine it is to trace the origin of the cause of the disease through all personal experience, often the cause coming from a psychic or emotional imbalance, which brings excess or insufficiency of  choice of lifestyle, that is to say, the cause of the disease is not only related to the physiological origin but also it is very closely linked with the psychological origin. These two aspects are undeniably linked with each other. While the word Shindan is etymologically linked with elucidating the cause of the disease on the symptom of the body through pain, tumor, fever, fatigue etc., modern medicine is of a very deductive origin to come to find the cause of the symptomatic disease.

On the other hand, traditional oriental medicine is rather empirical, looking at the overall holistic aspect of the person’s personal life. But if we look more closely at the approach of Oriental medicine, it is not looking for the cause of the symptom that goes through the physical body dysfunction, but rather trying to feel an energy imbalance, before the physical symptom appears. That’s why it uses these four forms of energetic observation and the 8 useful ones of the branching technique. First observation, watching, feeling the smell, hearing noise, and forming dialogue with the patient and finally, touch the person to feel the sign of energy imbalance. Words like empty or excess of energy, are always the story of the energetic manifestation. Normally before a symptom of physiological appearance appears, there are signs of energy imbalance that appear. It is therefore in this energy aspect that we try to feel.

Clearly it is strongly linked with the preventive method. The word that Western medicine uses for diagnosis is to look for the origin of the symptom cause which gives the sign of dysfunction of the physiological manifestation. In modern medicine the word energy is not considered as medical terminology, but in the traditional medicine of orient this word is the key of its approach.

So we can say that in the Eastern concept, instead of saying a diagnosis, we say that we observe the energy imbalance through this word Shiyo.