Yin and Yang

The ideas behind Yin and Yang developed by observing the physical world. It was observed that nature appears to group into pairs mutually dependent opposites. For example, the concept of night has no meaning without the concept of day.

Yin and Yang in Chinese Medicine

In understanding the concept of Yin and Yang, the emphasis is on process rather than structure. The Chinese characters for Yin and Yang represent this. The character for Yin translates as “the dark side of the mountain” and represents qualities such as cold, stillness, passiveness, darkness, and within. The character for Yang translates as “the bright side of the mountain” and represents warmth, activity, light, outside, expression.

According to the Chinese, everything has physical existence because everything manifests both Yin and Yang qualities. In observing the organs of the body, for example, the Liver is considered principally to be a Yin organ since it is solid, but it also has the function of promoting the flow of energy, which is a Yang quality. The aspects of Yin and Yang are interdependent of each other.

There are many ways in which Yin and Yang can be out of balance.

Types of Imbalance Between Yin and Yang

Too much Yin–characterized by Cold symptoms

Too much Yang–characterized by Heat symptoms

Too little Yin–characterized by Internal Heat symptoms

Too little Yang–characterized by general coldness

Chinese medicine views the body in terms of Yin and Yang aspects. A dynamic balance between these aspects is characterized by health, and an unhealthy state is an indication of some imbalance between the Yin and Yang of the body.

Change manifests itself as Yin transforming into Yang and vice versa. When this transformation process is blocked an imbalance occurs. Essentially, all disharmonies can be reduced to an imbalance of Yin and Yang. Balance is vital within the body as it is in the universe. This involves constantly readjusting.