The Aspects of Yin and Yan and How They Are Applied in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Philosophy, the Yin-Yang symbolizes the functions of the Universe. The dark and bright shapes inside the circle stand for the interaction of the “Yin” and “Yang” energies. These two forces cannot exist without each other nor are they entirely black or white. The symbol has a curve that signifies the changing balance constantly in play between yin and yang. It symbolizes all the opposite principles in the universe.

According to The Yellow Emperor,” Yin and Yang’s essence is the entire universe’s foundation and underlies the whole of creation.”

The dark element is Yin and it signifies smallness, death, moistness, feminine, darkness, passivity, and I associated with the night; yang, on the other hand, is the brighter element and symbolizes largeness, birth, dryness, masculine, light, activity, and is associated with the day.

Yin and Yang’s cyclical nature implies many things to an adherent of Chinese philosophy and medicine:

In a never ending cycle of reversal all phenomena change into their opposites.

All phenomena inherently possess the seeds of their opposite state since one principle engenders the other. Sickness, for example, also possesses the seeds of health and conversely, health has the seeds of sickness.

Nothing is completely without its opposite state even though an opposite may seem to be absent.

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) adapts these Yin Yang philosophies to address diseases. A balance of Yin and Yang in the body means that health predominates; disease develops when there is an imbalance of Yin and Yang.

Diseases brought about by yin pathogens oftentimes present themselves with cold symptoms while diseases due to yang pathogens usually manifest as with heat symptoms, according to Chinese medicine texts. In diagnosing Yin or Yang pathogens, questions such as, “What is your optimal time of day?” or “Do you prefer hot or cold drinks?” may be asked.

The job of a Chinese medicine practitioner is to bring back balance by means of certain approaches such as changes in diet or lifestyle, herbs, and acupuncture once the practitioner has determined the nature of the imbalance. Health is restored when the balance in the body is restored.

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