"What's Yin and Yang?"

You may have heard of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang Symbol You may have seen its universal symbol. They affect you in everyday life and in your state of health.

There are 4 concepts. Here's a crash course.

"Yin And Yang Are Opposites"

They exist in pairs of opposites. Yin is relatively passive, while Yang is relatively active. Keep that in mind in the following examples:

Yin and Yang pairs in nature

Every phenomenon in nature and life goes through cycles of peaks and valleys. Day turns into night, night turns into day. The sun rises, the sun sets. The stock market goes up, it goes down. The economy booms then busts then booms again, etc.

Everything happens in cycles. That's the natural order.

"Opposites In Your Body"

From a medical point of view, males are relatively more yang and females are relatively more yin. All babies, with all of their energy are yang compared to adults and baby boys are usually more yang than baby girls, but not always.

There are baby girls who can keep up with their male friends. They scream just as loud and are just as hungry as they, at meal times. Some baby boys are very calm and laid back.

Every treatment in Chinese medicine, at its most basic result, brings the body back into a balance between the two. You may be treated for any of these:

• To increase low levels of Yang.
• To increase low levels of Yin.
• To decrease excessive levels of Yang.
• To decrease excessive levels of Yin.

And there are often combinations also.

In medical terms, here are some pairs of opposites:

Yin and Yang in the body

Excessive Yang manifests as Heat, while excessive Yin manifests as Cold. A person who feels hot all the time has excessive Yang, while the person who feels cold all the time, has excessive Yin.

Being restless, suffering from insomnia and tremors is a state of excessive Yang.

Feeling lethargic, having a poor appetite, no "get up and go", indecision is a state of excessive Yin.

"Yin And Yang Transform Into Each Other"

Yin and Yang are two stages in the process of change and transformation. For example, water in a pond will freeze in the winter and then melt in warm weather, to become liquid again.

Nothing is totally Yin and nothing is totally Yang. They change into each other. Just like day (Yang) turns into night (Yin) and night (Yin) turns into day (Yang). Winter (Yin) turns into spring (Yang) and summer (Yang) turns into fall (Yin).

"Transformation In Your Body"

Conditions have to be right for Yin to turn into Yang and vice versa. There has to be a point of exhaustion of one before it turns into the other. Take for instance, day turning into night. There is a definite time when that happens. It's not a random action!

So in the body, I've seen menopausal women, who've suffered from feeling cold all the time, to suddenly feeling warm. However, over time, they may not have noticed the changes in their bodies as the transition occurred. One day they finally had warm feet. And were pleasantly surprised.

In this case, excess Yin transformed into excess Yang. Another example is this: a high fever (Yang) can create a deficiency in body fluids (Yin).

You can use this information for prevention. For instance, a lot of overwork (Yang) and little rest (Yin), uses up too much of the body's energy, thereby creating a deficiency (Yin).

"Yin And Yang Are Interdependent Of Each Other"

Yin and Yang totally depend on the other for its existence. Therefore you cannot have Yin without Yang. You cannot have Yang without Yin. The transformational examples demonstrate that for you.

"Interdependence In The Body"

There are Yin organs and Yang organs. They depend on each other and they exist in pairs.

Yin organs depend on Yang organs to produce Qi (energy) and Blood. Yang organs depend on Yin organs for the nourishment they store. So Yin organs store the precious essence of food. Yang organs transform food into the precious essence.

The role of the organs is fully explained in Organ Systems.

"Yin And Yang Mutually Consume Each Other"

When Yin and Yang are equal in proportion, this is normal balance. But they are in a constant state of dynamic balance. If one changes, then so does the other. This balance is maintained by continuous adjustment of the relative levels of Yin and Yang. When either one is out of balance, it definitely affects the other. Here are 4 possible states of imbalance between Yin and Yang.

• If Yin increases, Yang decreases.
• If Yang increases, Yin decreases.
• If Yin decreases, Yang increases.
• If Yang decreases, Yin increases.

As the sun rises, day comes into play and Yang increases. Night recedes and Yin decreases. As the sun sets, day recedes and Yin increases. As night time comes on, Yang decreases. There is always balance.

"Mutual Consumption In The Body"

You see this in how your body interacts with nature. When the weather is hot (Yang), your body sweats (Yin). When the weather is cold (Yin), you shiver to generate heat (Yang) in the body.

When you're sick and have a high temperature (Yang), your body fluids dry up (Yin). You become more thirsty because the moisture in your body has been consumed.

This is a short and sweet description about Yin and Yang. It's meant to give you a quick overview about the concept.

Back to Top

Return from Yin and Yang to Chinese Medicine