What are the Correspondences between Atopic Asthma and Giovanni Maciocia's Theory on how Traditional Chinese Medicine Understands this Disorder?

By Anne Etherton


For centuries the theory of Xiao - Chuan has been used to treat asthma in China. There is in fact very little incidence of atopic asthma in China and so Giovanni Maciocia put forward a new theory to explain this disorder in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

This study was done to see the correspondences between atopic asthma and Giovanni Maciocia’s new theory for how traditional Chinese Medicine understands this disorder.

The key areas of this theory are that the problem occurs from birth and so the patient is born with the problem. This Maciocia calls Lung (LU) and Kidney (KID) Wei Qi Xu. This deficiency allows Wind to become lodged in the bronchi, which periodically becomes reactivated causing an asthma attack. Maciocia says that Phlegm is the result rather than the cause of the asthma unlike in the Xiao - Chuan theory where it is the cause. In the case of the LU and KID Wei Qi Xu the Kidney deficiency is limited to the KID Wei Qi Xu and so the asthma may be the only symptom and there may be no other Kidney signs and symptoms. Maciocia also proposes an interesting theory to explain the link with eczema and asthma, along with various aetiological aspects. A structured interview was conducted with eleven atopic asthmatics to collect information to substantiate these theories.

It was found that Wind played a key part in the asthma attack phase. The syndrome of LU and KID Wei Qi Xu was difficult to see clearly, as it was often obscured by other patterns, but in one young patient this could be seen. There were fewer Kidney signs and symptoms in the younger patients and so this could be said that the only sign of the KID Wei Qi Xu was the asthma. There was also very little sign of Phlegm in the younger patients. Some aetiological trends were forthcoming in the area of birthing and feeding problems as infants.