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Vectors of Disease

A disease is not a disease. It is a
Images from 1918 Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body from

What do I mean by this? Your experience of a disease is always as snapshots of time. Oh, my shoulder hurts. I have horrible buzzing in the nerves of my arms. I have the sniffles.

Really, a disease is a movie made up of these snapshots of time. There is a beginning. Sometimes you're aware of it, sometimes you're not. But it has a beginning. And then you have a number of snapshots, or frames, that might span minutes or even decades or lifetimes. When a problem arises, we tend to focus on it as if it is brand new. But that is rarely the case. There is often another snapshot you have totally forgotten about. Today it is shoulder pain, but it might have been neck pain or wrist pain months ago. Because there was a gap in between, and it could be years, there is the appearance of difference. But in actuality, problems tie themselves together like knots on a string. Follow the string!

Disease Destiny

Diseases have destinations. They rise, fall, sink inward, move outward, flow in a compass direction, a Man direction, or a Heavenly direction. At any given moment, a disease has a specific location, but over time, it has a path.

There are several possible vectors that should be considered in Fu Xi Wen. Here are the one's I can think of, maybe you can think of more yourself:

  • Lines of force vectors

  • Box vectors

  • Line and Box Vectors

  • Five Element vectors

  • Tissue depth vectors

  • Container vectors

Lines of Force Vectors

As you know, our bodies are surrounded by these lines of force. Lines of force exist in Heaven, Man, and Earth planes. If you have experimented with “Recharging The Battery” in the Intermediate level, you may have noticed, especially if you were doing any form of diagnosis along with it, that as soon as you started to treat Heaven, the energy changed in Man and Earth. These lines are interconnected and the energy that flows along them flows from one to another. Back to the beads on a string analogy. Heaven, Man, and Earth are the same string in one big loop, so changing the beads anywhere has a vast systemic effect.

This is true for diseases as well. If an imbalanced movement of energy finds itself on any line of force, all of the interconnected lines of force to the imbalanced one are vulnerable. Every connection is a gate. The gate can be left open for invasion or it can be closed. The way it is closed is by ensuring a controlling movement of energy or an excessive movement of energy exists in the line of force behind the gate – in opposition to the imbalanced movement.

Let's say Water Qi has accumulated in the BL/SI line of force. Then the biggest gates exist at BL/LU, BL/KD, HT/SI, LV/SI. Smaller gates exist at every Man line of force
Images from 1918 Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body from
and every Earth line of force, as every Man level and Earth level line will cross BL/SI at some point. You can “Recharge The Battery” and protect all of the intersecting lines of force. Or, you can focus on the bigger gates that will have the greatest exchange of energy with the affected line.

Better yet, you can diagnose which lines are being invaded using your teishin or pulse diagnosis and treat only those where the energy is showing its preferred pathway. Developing good diagnostic skills can save you a lot of time and energy.

Fortifying the gates is a concept that comes out of traditional Chinese medicine. Even there, it is one of the highest levels of treatment and one of the most ignored. A practitioner only has so much time with any given patient, but you have all the time in the world with yourself. So you have every reason to fortify your gates when the need arises.

Box Vectors

Energy has a propensity to move up/down, in/out, East/West, or North/South. When disease strikes a box created by the lines of force, it will not just sit there, it will start to move in a specific direction. Over time, the constant force of its movement will eventually break down the barriers of the lines of force and the disease will push to the next adjacent box where it will again continue its push along the same direction.

This is most obviously seen when a problem moves from one joint to the next adjacent joint. It may take days, months, or years, but if the root of the problem is not treated, then the fuel exists for this continued expansion.

When this happens, consider treating not just where the problem currently exists, but every box in which the problem once existed. You'll need to remember all of the preceding snapshots of disease along the vector. In traditional Chinese medicine we don't just treat the local problem, we often use points called “distal” points as well. The best distal point is the last known location of the disease. Even though it seems as if the problem no longer resides there, think again. The only reason the disease can progress is if it has a root and if it has fuel. You may not feel the pain where it used to be, but it likely is the source of the root and the fuel. Treating the distal area weakens the disease significantly.

Line and Box Vectors

Lines connect and define boxes. A single line passes over multiple boxes. Diseases can follow a line of force from one box to another or from one line of force to multiple boxes or both.

Five Element Vectors

As you will recall, every Element eventually creates another Element. This cycle of creation is called the Generating Cycle. Fire makes Earth makes Metal makes Water makes Wood makes Fire. It is a big wheel that keeps turning.

When an Element becomes excessive, the wheel always turns. So, if you have excessive Fire, it always generates Earth as well. If you have excessive Earth, it always generates Metal as well.

The vector of an excessive disease is for the Mother to generate the Child. So, one way to treat an excessive Element is to use the controlling energy to control the Mother as well as the controlling energy to control the Child. You always want to do this in the order just specified because if you add energy to control the Child first, guess what, that is the movement of energy that strengthens the Mother of the problem and will make it worse. First, weaken the Mother back to normal then control any excess Child Element.

Tissue Depth Vectors

Sometimes diseases rise or sink among the tissues. Take a rash, for instance, Sometimes a rash results from a problem only on the skin level. But very often it arises from a deeper source – the blood vessels beneath it, or even the flesh
Images from 1918 Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body from
beneath the blood vessels.

Clearing the problem at the level of the skin won't do a heck of a lot if the source of the problem is from a deeper tissue. So, you need to think about the tissues as related to each other. If a problem exists in the tendons and ligaments, what is happening with the bones or the large arteries and veins that are directly next to them? Fibromyalgia, for instance, often feels like a tendon or ligament problem but is in fact, in my experience, more likely a problem with the large arteries and veins.

Container Vectors

Containers contain energy. Organ containers have propensities to contain specific Elements. The lungs and large intestine collect Metal. The heart and small intestine collect Fire. The blood vessels collect Fire and Water. The liver and gallbladder collect Wood. The spleen and stomach collect Earth.

So, if you have an excessive Element anywhere in the body, be sure to look at the energy contained in the containers related to that Element. It is hardly likely you could have excessive Earth, for instance, without some of it spilling over into the Spleen and Stomach.

The Extraordinary Vessels are also containers of a sort. The Du Mai will collect any Yang excessive energy. The Ren Mai will collect any Yin excessive energy. The Chong Mai will collect excessive Fire and Earth. The Dai Mai will collect excessive Wood.

So, especially for chronic problems, look at these containers to see if excessive energies are being collected in these locations. If they are, the container is like a reserve fuel tank. It will constantly feed the collected movement of energy back into the system, delaying a recovery.


When it comes to your treatment strategy, you will improve your treatment results if you take into account these disease vectors. The disease has a destiny. “A destiny” is not the same thing as the future – it is only the potential future. You can stop the potential future for a disease if you disrupt its fuel and pathway.

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