Diagnostic methods

By Are S. Thoresen DVM
Veterinarian acupuncturist homeopath osteopath agronomist

Diagnosis is the recognition of the nature, location and extent of disease, especially of the factors that are involved in, or cause, its expression. Thus, if we want to understand why an animal is diseased, for example why it suffers from recurrent infections in the paws or itchy eczema, we must know what we seek and where to look for it. As discussed in several places in this book, the root cause of disease is due to imbalance of the vital energetic Processes (the Process Imbalance, or Imbalanced Inner Function). External or Internal Stressors can precipitate the Process Imbalance, and many different Process Imbalances can manifest as Lesion-Symptom Complexes in the Weak Structures.

The cause of the disease usually manifests in the way that the Lesion-Symptom Complex presents itself. But, to recognize the cause, we must recognize the external and internal clues. In order to do this, we must know the clues (what it is that we seek), where to look, or which door to open. People in many civilizations and cultures were aware of this through the ages. For example:

This applies also for diagnosis of human and animal diseases. The Lesion-Symptom Complexes reveal both the Stressor that made it appear and the Process Imbalances; we only must know what to look for. A correct diagnosis is 90 % of the work; for those with a good training in holistic therapy, the rest is plain sailing.

Correct diagnosis of the Deficient Process Imbalance is essential for effective treatment Correct diagnosis of the Stressor is essential for correct etiology and effective prophylactic work.

For effective therapy, it is of the utmost importance to find the Primary Deficient Process and to stimulate it. In KI-deficiency, we may consult

But if our diagnosis (i.e. our identification of the Primary Deficient Process) is wrong, all the remedies or points in the world will be of little help. We must expect poor results if we fail to help the deficient Process, or just treat symptomatically, or just focus our treatment on the Weak Structure.

Of course it can be helpful to combine causal and symptomatic treatment, i.e. to treat the cause of the disease (the deficient Process) and the secondary excessive process (with pain and tensions) and the Lesion-Symptom Complex (Weak Structure and/or the manifestations of the disease). Sometimes, especially in serious or life-threatening conditions, it is necessary to combine these approaches. Therefore, some ways to treat the most common symptoms are listed below after each method of therapy.

Chronic diarrhea improves with a "contracting" remedy like "Cortex Querqus", or a chronic BL infection improves with the herb "Uva Ursi". But we can expect only temporary symptomatic relief from any other therapy if we fail to identify and correct the deficient Process, the real underlying cause of the disease that called forth the Lesion-Symptom Complex.

A very strong Stressor may precipitate a Lesion-Symptom Complex without a pre-existing Process Imbalance, or may cause a Process Imbalance directly. If we sit outside in the cold all night in the Norwegian winter, we will probably catch pneumonia, even if we have an excellent Qi balance. An extreme Stressor can precipitate many diseases. Then we may treat this disease with symptomatic remedies, or just give western symptomatic treatment like antibiotics. Sometimes, such diseases auto-cure and remain cured without direct intervention by a therapist. For example, the body's Wei Qi, or homeostatic mechanisms can dispel some diseases without any direct treatment.

We must look for deeper causes of the disorder when a Lesion-Symptom Complex recurs over and over, or becomes chronic, or is induced by just a moderate Stressor. In such cases we need good methods to be able to find this cause, the pre-existing Process Imbalance.

Homeopathic case taking (repertorizing) may suggest an effective remedy without suggesting a diagnosis from the viewpoint of western pathology or TCM diagnosis. In other words, in homeopathy the correct remedy (the perfect match for the symptoms and Modifying Factors) is considered the correct diagnosis. We talk about a Silica case, a Sulphur case etc. However, this approach makes it impossible to be able to recognize the deeper and causal origin of the disease. If we want to prevent further disease, it is of utmost importance that we recognize the primary Qi imbalance, or primary cause of the disease. Depending on the cause, we may need to prescribe a change of diet, change of sleeping place, change of work etc.

2 main types of symptoms

It is, as I have said several times, very important to differentiate between to main types of symptoms, which is:

  1. Symptoms that come from a deficiency
  2. Symptoms that comes from an excess

What we don’t learn to see are symptoms that come from a deficiency.
What we don’t learn to see are symptoms that are numb.
What we don’t learn to see are symptoms that are cold and painless.

What we usually learn to se is symptoms that come from an excess.
What we usually learn to se is symptoms that are painful.
What we usually learn to se is symptoms that are warm and tender.

Symptoms that originate from an excess are usually acute, traumatic and painful. They have Yang-character, and they usually show up within a Yang-process or along a Yang-meridian. Such symptoms are primary in all primary traumas, but in all chronic diseases they are usually secondary.

Symptoms that originate in or from a deficiency are usually chronic. They have Yin-characteristics, and usually they show up within a Yin process. Such symptoms are primary in all chronic diseases.

If we are able to find this type of symptoms, we will be able to find the primary deficiency in most cases.

If not, we may from the more easily observe excessive Yang-symptoms deduce where the primary energetic deficiency is from the table at page 00.

Of course, it is no problem/hindrance to treat both the deficient cause of the disease, and the excessive symptom, even at the same time. I will though add here a very important observation; if we treat the deficient cause correctly, the excess energy in the symptoms will, in a matter of seconds, flow directly to the deficient process. Then it is usually not necessary to treat the excessive symptom, if we treat the deficiency correctly. But, if we don’t treat the deficiency correctly, it might take some time until the excesses and pain is resolved, and then it might be correct to also treat the excess according to symptomatic treatment.

Therefore I have, after each chapter, added a list of symptomatic treatment according to symptoms and diagnoses.

Chronic diarrhea will always be better if we add a constricting remedy like the bark of the oak, finely powdered of course. A chronic infection of the urinary tract will always be better if we give the patient bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi). But if we don’t find the cause of the disease, and treat the energetic deficiency, all therapy will be temporary.

Within homeopathic diagnosing, (repertorizing), we may find the right remedy (causal treatment) without having to make a ”correct” diagnosis, as the correct diagnosis within homeopathy is the name of the correct remedy, (a silica-case, a sulphur-case).

But going this way will not make us able to realize the true weakness of the animal or patient, the true weak process. This is important in my opinion, as we then will not be able to prevent further disease in different ways as changing the diet, the work, the sleeping place, the clothing and so on.

4 levels of making a diagnosis

Following this there are in my opinion 4 main levels or levels to make a correct diagnosis:

Noting the symptoms and lesions


Table 15

We also ought to differentiate between:

It is very important to remember that the symptoms usually are expressions of the excessive reflections of the underlying deficient process. Usually the obvious and painful symptoms are related to the following Yang-process in the Ko-cycle (see page 00).