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Functional Somatic Syndromes: Emerging Biomedical Models and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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1
Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women's Health, Department of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA.

Abstract

The so-called functional somatic syndromes comprise a group of disorders that are primarily symptom-based, multisystemic in presentation and probably involve alterations in mind-brain-body interactions. The emerging neurobiological models of allostasis/allostatic load and of the emotional motor system show striking similarities with concepts used by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to understand the functional somatic disorders and their underlying pathogenesis. These models incorporate a macroscopic perspective, accounting for the toll of acute and chronic traumas, physical and emotional stressors and the complex interactions between the mind, brain and body. The convergence of these biomedical models with the ancient paradigm of TCM may provide a new insight into scientifically verifiable diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for these common disorders.

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