Foundations of Oriental Medicine | Acupuncture CEU Course

School of Pathogen Attacking: Detoxification

A one hour CEU Video course. In this class, we will explore the importance of diaphoretic, emetic, and purgative methods in treating exogenous and endogenous pathogens. Eliminating pathogens should be the primary task in treating any disease, because all diseases begin with pathogenic invasions. In some cases tonification is not necessary and even becomes problematic in that it allows the pathogens to thrive even further. By delving deeper into Pathogen Attacking Doctrine, we can truly appreciate the beauty and ugliness of pathogens and how they create both diseases and health at the same time.

Clinically, knowing your patient’s constitution is important, but knowing the enemy (pathogens) is even better in health preservation and illness prevention.  This class will enrich the practitioner’s understanding of pathogens and enhance their ability to treat diseases with an emphasis on infections.

With: Dr. Daoshing Ni, co-founder of Yo San University
2 PDA NCCAOM / 1 ½ CAB Units   (Free to audit this course)  
$15      Payment includes CEU/PDA certificate of completion, online quiz and download .pdf course file. Access: unlimited

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Course Sections and Notes (Click any title to expand)

Gong 攻 – to attack, to eliminate, to invade

Xie 邪 – evils, pathogens, toxins

Gong Xie Xue Pai – The School of Pathogen-Attacking Method. Detoxification Doctrine

Central Premise: By eliminate the pathogens, the body will restore itself. The focus should always be on attacking the pathogens instead of restore the body’s functions.

  • Pathogen and its progressive consequences in the body creates a disease phenomenon. This is toxic to our body.
    The focus is on getting  rid of the toxins.
  • Obvious Disease progression – Eliminate Pathogen and cleanse byproducts of pathogenic invasion
  • No disease progression – Detoxification, Restore body’s function, Strengthen body’s function

Representing physician:

◦Dr. Zhang, Cong Zheng 张从正 (Zhang, Zi He 张子和)

Central Doctrine:

◦Attacking (heat) toxins with cool and cold herbs


◦Ru Men Shi Qin 儒门事亲

Supporting physicians:

◦Chang De 常德

Supporting publications:

◦Shang Han Xin Jin 伤寒心镜

Founding Environment

Similar as He Jian Xue Pai


◦Song, Jin Dynasties

◦Frequent epidemics and febrile diseases

◦Began in the same province with similar climate and patient conditions

◦Began in the same time period

◦As an antidote to Tai Ping Hui Min Ju Fang 太平惠民局方

  • Favors tonification, dislike sedation; favors warming, dislike cooling; Da Huang, Meng Xiao are snakes and scorpions; dry ginger and aconite are sweet as malt sugar…
  • Even with the push by Liu Wan Su of focusing on Fire-Heat, it is still difficult to change things overnight…
  • “TheInferior physician knows only to tonify Deficiencies, afraid of treating Excess condition, people called this the “safe way”.
  • Neijing and Shang Han LunStrong agreement with “Xie Zhi Suo Cou, Qi Qi Bi Xu” 邪之所凑, 其气必虚, Neijing◦Congealment of pathogens will weaken the Qi◦Weakness of Qi will invite congealment of pathogensStrong alignment with Zhang, Zhong Jing 张仲景 in the use of Han (Sweating) 汗, Tu (Emesis) 吐, Xia (Purge)下 treatment methods in Shang Han Lun
  • Additional Influences:As a disciple of Zhang, Wan Su 张完素, the father of He Jian Xue Pai, he has adopted his ways of using cooling and cold herbs by further using cold bitter herbs to attack.
  • The formation of disease, regardless of Nei Shang 内伤 (Endogenous Injury) or Wai Xie 外邪 (Exogenous Pathogen), all are due to pathogens.These pathogens are not normal in the body and needs to be rid of. Once the pathogens are gone, Yuan Qi 元气 will recover on its own.The use of Han, Tu, Xia are the most frequent methods of Zhang, Cong, Zheng
  • Zhang, Cong Zheng 张从正 – the initiator
  • Ma, Jiu Chou 麻九畴, Chang, De 常德, Li, Zi Fan 李子范 – the supporting physicians
  • Ma, Jiu Chou 麻九畴 – Dr. Zhang’s student that may have written most of Ru Men Shi Qin 儒门事亲
  • Chang, De 常德 has written Zhang Zi He Xin Jin 张子和心镜 (Dr. Zhang’s Zi He’s Mirror of the Heart)
  • Established foundation for later Web Bing Xue Pai (Warmth Disease Doctrine)
  • Established foundation for the initial treatment of plague
  • Established foundation for later treatment of cancer, tumors and miscellaneous endogenous diseases
  • Qu Xie Fu Zheng 祛邪扶正 (Rid of Pathogen to Support the Anti-pathogenic Qi)

Other name: Zhang, Zi He 张子和

Born in Song Jin宋金 Dynasties

1156-1228 AD

Written Ru Men Shi Qin 儒门事亲

It is a compilation of 10 plus different publications of Zhang, Cong Zheng

15 chapters

  • 1.All disease is from Pathogen
  • 2.Attack Pathogen to Rid of Disease
  • 3.Three Methods of Detoxification
  • a.Han 汗 diaphoresis
  • b.Tu 吐 emesis
  • c.Xia 下 purgation
  • 4.Bloodletting Therapy
  • Exogenous Pathogens = Exogenous Diseases
  • Endogenous Pathogens = Endogenous Diseases
  • Qi and Xue must be flowing and not stagnant…any stagnancy will invite pathogenic invasion…
  • All diseases are from pathogens
  • All treatments begin with attacking pathogens
  • The attack must be quick and swift
  • Sooner the pathogens are gone, sooner the Yuan Qi returns
  • Emphasizes attack with medicine such as herbs…nourishment with food…
  • When nourish life, use food…when treat disease, use medicine…
  • Han, Xia, Tu methods use Herbs;
  • Tonification uses grain, meat, fruits and vegetables.
  • One who knows how to use medicine, knows how to let patient take in five grains to tonify – Rice, Proso Millet, Foxtail Millet, Wheat, Soy Bean
  • If one uses minerals and herbs to tonify, the pathogens will be tonified and will cause death – That’s why Dr. Zhang, Cong Zheng proposed “Attack first, tonify later”
  • All herbs contain certain imbalances; thus they have curative and toxic properties simultaneously. Prolonged use of tonics will cause accumulations of small imbalances into larger imbalances such as the use of Gan Cao and Ren Sheng.

The three main methods of treatment used by Dr. Zhang, Cong Zheng are
Purgation (cartharsis)

By using these three methods of treatment, he is able to treat all diseases. For him, these three methods encompasses all the other methods of treatment.

  • Pungent Warm
  • Cool-Cold
  • Moxa, steam, wash, bath, iron, branding, acupuncture, stone needle, Daoyin, massage can all cause diaphoresis. Any methods that can relieve biao would be considered Han Fa.
  • For all conditions where the pathogen attacked only the Biao and the tissues.
  • Incessant diarrhea, indigestion, pulse floating large and long, feverish with Biao Re symptoms can all use Han Fa or combined with Tu Fa and Xia Fa.
  • Tetanus, seizures, manic, alcohol poisoning, bi syndrome etc. can all use emesis first and follow up by Han method, or combined simultaneously.
  • Southern area has more heat, pungent cool is more suitable; northern area has more cold, pungent warm is more suitable; summer months has more summer heat, pungent cool is more suitable; winter months has more cold, pungent warm is more suitable; younger stronger constitution more suitable with pungent cooling, older weaker constitution more suitable with pungent warming; irritated emotions need pungent cooling, relaxed emotions need pungent warming; pulse floating large needs pungent cooling, pulse slow needs pungent warming.
  • Always differentiate Yin-Yang, Biao-Li, Xu-Shi, once sweated and healed, no need to continue the herbs.
  • People are frequently afraid and unhappy with vomiting, they rather allow things to go downward and coming out the other end.
  • But emetic method when done appropriately, the effectiveness tends to be immediate.
  • Contraindicated in irritability, moodiness, bleeding, old, weak, dangerous, and bulimic conditions.
  • Always begin with small dose of formula and increase gradually.
  • Neijing has pointed out that the patency flow of Qi and Xue is paramount. When there are pathogens retaining inside causing stagnancy, Xia Fa is necessary. To purge at this time is to tonify.
  • Xia Fa besides the obvious catharsis, it also included promoting labor, promoting lactation, breaking up tumor, purging fluid, breaking channel, and breaking Qi.
  • This method is especially suited for Spleen/Stomach disorders.
  • Spleen governs transformation and stomach governs dissolving and grinding down food source. The characteristic of these actions is most importantly – free flowing. If there is any stagnancy in this process, any symptoms and conditions will begin to form. The only way to resolve this is to attack and bring stagnancy downward to dissolve this blockage.
  • Contraindications –
    When the condition is not Shi-Excess type
    Diarrhea with weak pulse
    Bleeding conditions with weak pulse

Letting go of blood when it is stagnant is actually nourish blood. Because when blood is stagnant, it becomes old. When it is old, the new blood cannot be formed. This creates a blood stagnancy and deficiency condition at the same time. Therefore letting go of old blood is nourishing.

Bloodletting is synonymous with Han Fa. Their principles and therapeutic intent are the same.

Example: Sore throat, where the Han Fa is not the most effective, the bleeding method is better.

  • All disease is from Pathogen
  • Attack Pathogen to Rid of Disease
  • Three Methods of Detoxification
  • ◦Han 汗 diaphoresis
  • ◦Tu 吐 emesis
  • ◦Xia 下 purgation
  • Bloodletting Therapy
  • Representing physician: Dr. Zhang, Cong Zheng 张从正 (Zhang, Zi He 张子和)
  • Central Doctrine: Attacking (heat) toxins with cool and cold herbs
  • Publication: Ru Men Shi Qin 儒门事亲
  • Supporting physicians: Chang De 常德
  • Supporting publications: Shang Han Xin Jin 伤寒心镜