This is a truly fascinating study. It is a veritable “East Meets West” extravaganza. They are looking at both symptoms of Yin Deficiency and Autonomic dysfunction as measured by Heart Rate Variability, and metastastic disease. Yin deficiency is a part of some very prominent conditions in Traditional Chinese Medicine for example, Tuberculosis, High Blood Pressure, Menopausal Hot Flashes. As an anecdotal example, one of my current patients being treated for hypertension had remarkable and sustained lowering of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure with the addition of a powerful Yin tonic. To try to correlate the symptoms of Yin Deficiency with metastasis, not only broadens the reach of TCM diagnosis, but adds to our understanding of the yin yang imbalance. What drew my attention to it was the attention paid to Autonomic Dysfunction and it is food for thought that there was a definite correlation with Yin Deficiency and autonomic imbalance. It gives us one more lens to try to make sense of vexing conditions that be difficult to treat.

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Here are some excerpts of the abstract.
1. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Sep 28.
Increased Yin-Deficient Symptoms and Aggravated Autonomic Nervous System Function in Patients with Metastatic Cancer.Lin SC, Chen MX.
1 Department of Nursing, Show Chwan Memorial Hospital , Changhua, Taiwan .
Abstract Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate the
differences in severity of yin-deficiency syndrome (YDS) and function of the
autonomic nervous system (ANS) between patients with cancer with metastasis and
those without metastasis. …
Interventions: The severity of YDS in each subject was evaluated using a questionnaire containing 12 items about symptoms and signs related to YDS. The severity of each symptom or sign was rated on a 4-point scale. Outcome measures: The total score on the questionnaire represented the severity of YDS. ANS function in each subject was evaluated by measuring heart rate variability (HRV), including time and frequency domains. …
Results: The patients with metastasis had significantly higher average total YDS score and heart rate compared with the patients without metastasis. In contrast, they had significantly lower HRV, including standard deviation of the 5-minute average R-R
interval, total power, very-low-frequency power, and low frequency (LF) power,but not high-frequency (HF) power and LF/HF ratio. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that patients with metastatic cancer have more severe YDS and
impaired ANS function than those without metastasis.