The conceptual framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the idea of Yin-Yang; the laws of heaven and earth, the root and beginning of life and death, and the balance of everything in between. It is believed that all natural events and states of being are rooted in the forces of yin and yang, in the forces of balance. This theory represents two separate phenomena with opposing natures, that are mutually dependent on each other so cannot exist on their own. The theory is all relative, and the relativity is reflected in two ways, one way the conditions of yin may transform into yang and vice versa, and the other hand any phenomenon may be infinitely divided into its yin and yang aspects reflecting its own inner yin yang balance. So in simpler terms yin and yang is the idea that everything has two opposing aspects to it, which are constantly interconsuming, intertransforming and restricting each other to continuously reach a homeostasis.
Examples illustrating yin and yang:
- Yin and Yang
- Night and Day
- Cold and Hot
- Water and Fire
- Dark and Light
- Winter and Summer
- Low and High
- Contracting and Expanding
- Stillness and Movement
- Passive and Vigor
- Interior and Exterior
- Death and Life
So in the human body, the yin and yang aspect that does exists, exists to create the vital physiological balance. The entire human body can be divided into yin and yang forces, the external versus the internal, the organs above versus below, the functions of organs, the limbs, and so on – this division is infinite. The normal vital activities of the human body are based on the coordination of yin and yang in a unity of opposites. The forces of yin and yang within the human body are mutually supportive – they act together to protect the organism from invasion by pathogenic factors and to maintain a relative balance with the body. If the yin and yang fail to support each other and one becomes in excess or deficient then the body will slow down the physiological process and the body will head towards exhaustion and disease will manifest. The excess or deficiency of one factor over the other may occur when an external pathogenic factor attacks the body, or you fail to nourish the body correctly.
Based on the yin and yang aspects of each symptom of a disease, Traditional Chinese Practitioners determine their diagnosis, and treatment plan (herbs, dietary advice, and the acupuncture treatment plant). The goal of the treatment is to stabilize the yin and yang and restore the harmony between the two.
How to apply the yin and yang balance to our life:
Maintaining a balanced nutritious diet that is full of varietyDrinking water daily, it not only hydrates but its essential in removing toxins in your bodyStaying physically activeStanding up every hour for a min or two and taking a mental and physical break especially if you’ve got a desk job. Practicing mindfulness and being present with yourself, others around you and your environmentBeginning the day and ending the day with gratefulness Participating in emotional healing through meditation, journaling or by having a life coach, counsellor or mentor.Being aware of the environment around you and keeping it organized and clean, everything from the cleanliness of our homes to organization of our finances should be kept in an orderly manner
The yin and yang balance should not be maintained just within our body but around as well. Excessive exercise or work, an excess of yang, without rest results in exhaustion a deficiency of yin
Excessive consumption of alcohol creates a pleasant euphoria the yang, which is quickly followed by a hangover the yin
Excessive worrying yang, depletes the yin energy of the body
The essence of prevention in Chinese medicine and an understanding of how to maintain a balance can help us avoid the rapid swings from one to the other that are detrimental to our physical and emotional life.
In our future blogs, we will go over how to apply yin and yang concepts to our everyday meals, how to create a functional environment and how to prevent disease