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Chinese Medicine Theories and Ideas

Chinese Medicine Theories and Ideas

YIN and YANG, Balance and Harmony

"In confidence", Dr. Shen whispered to me,
"At times even I cannot tell YIN from YANG."

YIN and yang is simple, and not simple.

YIN and YANG describe change.
Originally YIN and YANG referred to the sides of a mountain.
In the morning, one side is in shade, the other in sunlight.
Later in the day, the sides have reversed.
Dark becomes light and light becomes dark.

Nature is like this, forever changing, undulating In time, Under the influence of time, YANG turns to YIN, and YIN predictably becomes YANG. Change is certain, a basic law of nature you can count on, like gravity.

Some of us think of yin and yang as opposites.  But their relationship is much more complex than that. YANG and YIN also support one another as much as they oppose each other. You simply can' t have one without the other.  In fact, yin and yang also include one another.  There is always yin within yang and yang within yin. 


As practitioners of Oriental medicine, we see the body and its disharmonies in changing shades of YIN and YANG.   When yin or yang overly dominate one another in a human being, disharmony will result.  Ultimately this will effect the course of qi, and lead to physical and/ or mental disharmony.  Paying attention to yin and yang helps us to asses balance and harmony and also helps us to understand the disease and the patient . 


Examples of YIN and YANG

Hot is yang, cold is yin

Warm colors are yang, cool colors are yin 

Daytime is YANG, Nighttime is yin

Activity is yang, rest is yin

Function is yang, structure is yin

Upper body is yang, Lower body is yin

Surface of the body is yang, interior is yin

Acute diseases are yang

Chronic diseases are yin

Excess conditions are yang

Deficient conditions are yin


Next: Acupuncture Channels and Acupoints


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Did you know that Dr. Shen is also an artist and photographer? See his work here 

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