All About Yin and Yang
You often hear about Yin and Yang in many Chinese movies and anime episodes but what does Yin and Yang mean? In ancient Chinese Medicine, Yin was referred to as the female version of this duo which is commonly represented by the moon because of its modest glow in the night skies. Yin is characterized generally by negative principles of nature. Yang on the other hand leans towards the positive forces of nature. This force is represented by the Sun which shines so bright, strong and has an illuminating force to reckon with. Yin and Yang was credited to Fu Shi which is the creator of I-Ching commonly referred to as Book of Changes.
Yin and Yang was viewed based on the Chinese perspective about the male and female psyche. Yin and Yang was represented in opposing colors of black and white. The symbol which depicts these two energies together is most often represented by a circle. The outermost circle refers to everything while the black and white swirling colors look like teardrops. If you will watch these symbols closely there are white and black dots on each side which denotes that not all things in life are completely negative or positive; because it is a mixture of both. This is what Ancient Chinese wise men refer to as the balance of nature. Each of these two cannot survive without the other for they helpfully compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
In the midst of this relationship, Yin is represented by water while Yang is referred to as ice which has solid consistency. If modern feminist will disagree with this principle remember that in Chinese tradition, the role between male and female are viewed from this perspective. Going back to the differences between Yin and Yang, these are referred to as hot and cold in relation to changes in temperature. By using this principle, the only way to correct physical affliction is by determining which of these are out of balance.
For practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, the only way to diagnose a disease is to identify it in terms of Yin and Yang. When it comes to the parts of the body, Yin is the frontal part which can easily be protected and Yang is the back portion or the exposed part. When it comes to the internal body parts, the internal organs which cannot be seen by the naked human eye is referred to as Yin while the skin and muscles which can be easily seen is Yang. It is the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner’s main goal to establish the body’s ability to ward off diseases and be restored back to health. This is how Acupuncturists treat their patients. They often think that extreme Yin can ultimately convert into Yang and vice versa.
The Western medical practitioners need to understand this concept of healing. They will never grasp that this concept of treating patients was the focal point of treatment rather than just merely targeting the disease and identifying it through a causative agent. Yin Yang is diagnosed through patterns of disharmony. This is done by using keen powers of observation. The energy levels of the body were observed by looking closely at the patient’s general appearance. This method of diagnosis is puzzling for Western doctors because the examination results will vary from one doctor to another. It is viewed as taking an educated guess of how ill a person is or not depending on such things as the patient’s skin color, color of the tongue etc. In Chinese healing, the body’s health is categorized into levels based on how much Xie or Chi the body has. Xie represents blood while Chi represents energy wherein Xie is carried by how much Chi there is in an individual’s body. Getting a proper amount of quality sleep is said to help the body store more Chi. When a person exhausts his energy levels, he relies on his back up energy which is commonly known in TCM as Gan Huo. This is when a person’s energy level is based on what kind of lifestyle he leads. Simply put, those who have more energy are those who are well rested as oppose to those that lead a busy lifestyle which can drain these energy levels.
Five Levels of Yin Yang
Level 1 refers to healthy people who are fit, sleep in a regular pattern; have a healthy complexion and a gentle behavior. The next level is thought to be Weak Yang level where the body’s energy cannot fight the invading enemies of the immune system resulting to frequent colds, fever, pain, migraine etc. Moving on to the 3rd level of energy, Weak Yin Level where the body’s immune system cannot resist the disease as it successfully invades the body. This level talks about those people who are abnormally energetic during the night. This energy gets its source from the Gan Huo previously stored by their body. People of this level will fool themselves into thinking that they are healthy. Level 4 talks about Weak Yin and Yang, where the person simply depletes his body’s source of energy. Since the individual’s body derives its energy from the muscle and other areas of the body to compensate for its lack of energy, he will be extremely sluggish or tired.
The 5th level is the Xie Chi Exhaustion stage wherein the person’s Yin and Yang have drop so low that his body will try to extract what it can from other sources. At this stage, the body will continue to collapse until it develops into such incontrollable diseases such as cancer, kidney failure or heart stroke. Chinese Medical practitioners will simply pertain to causative agent for the body’s degradation and malfunction due to lack of Xie Chi. For those who have not reached this level, the only way to prevent the body from reaching this state is by recognizing the imbalance and controlling the flow of energy by practical means. Some people might find the cure for their tensions by means of going to the spa while others would be to have a hobby that can relax their mind. Whatever method a person chooses must be geared towards restoring the balance of the body’s Yin and Yang.
In our next article we take a look at one of the elements that Chinese Traditional Medicine is heavily focused on. That is Qi Energy.