Yin, Yang, Balance and Chinese medicine
Are you familiar with this symbol? Of course, you say, who does not know?
But what does it mean? And how is it related to Chinese medicine?
This symbol represents the essence of the Theory of Yin and Yang, which is a philosophical understanding of the world, and is also the foundation of Chinese medicine. When Chinese medicine says Balance and Being Holistic, it refers to the Balance of Yin and Yang, and Yin and Yang together being the oneness.
This symbol says
- there is Yin and Yang in everything,
- the proportion of Yin and Yang changes all the time;
- the two complement to each other; also importantly
- there is a seed of Yin in Yang, and there is a seed of Yang in Yin.
That is Yin and Yang complements each other, and inseparable.
Yin refers to the moon, water, being cool, being statics, female, quiet, and slow; and Yang refers to the sun, fire, hot, dynamic, male, loud and quick. From health and illness point of view, a condition that is cold in nature and gets worse with cold weather or environment, it is Yin in nature. Fever, or being thirty, is considered of Yang in nature. Every phenomenon can be understood as Yin or Yang; yet in every phenomenon there are Yin and Yang elements.
When Chinese medicine talks about Balance, tt is the Yin and Yang elements that need to be balanced.
Being balanced is the ultimate natural stare of the universe. When this balance is out of its order, that is when illness happens in humans. As you can see in the diagram, the balance is not 50% vs 50%. It is a dynamic balance because the components of Yin and Yang change over time and all the time. Morning becomes noon, noon goes into afternoon, which then becomes night; night will go into dawn. This cycle continues, as Yang (morning and noon) goes into Yin (afternoon and night), and goes to Yang again. This is the dynamic balance of Yin and Yang.
Everything in the Universe consists of Yin and Yang; we are part of the Universe, so we human beings too have Yin and Yang within our body. Any external Yin and Yang changes will impact on our internal Yin and Yang. This explains why weather could impact on us. For instance in the last a few days, Geelong has been very hot. We too feel the heat. For instance before the rain comes, those who have arthritic joints will know due to a change of air pressure from high to low (from Yang to Yin). This explains oneness of our body with the Universe.
Chinese medicine positions itself on Yin and Yang theory, and considers human beings are one part of the whole Universe and follow the same rule that regulates the Universe. That is why Chinese medicine considers all most everything that is NOT balanced could impact on our internal balance and become the cause of diseases. To become healthy again, one needs to regain this balance. To prevent one from being ill, it is essential to keep yourself Yin and Yang balanced so that this natural status will not be swayed easily by things that are out of balance.
In the future blogs, we will discuss what are considered causes of diseases and how to recognise them. And what we can do to maintain the natural state of balance.