six pathogens (siksˑ paˑ·th·jnz),
n.pl damp, wind, cold, dryness, summer heat, and fire. In traditional Chinese medicine, the external causes believed to cause disease (in severe conditions or when the corresponding qi is less resistant). Fire is believed to cause fever; summer heat is respon-sible for thirst and dizziness; damp is connected with edema; cold with stiffness and contractions; and wind assaults the face and head and also facilitates entry of fire, heat, damp, cold, and dryness into the body. See also qi.