Yin and Yang
noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
Two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin), and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang), whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.
Life is built on the dynamic interchange of polar opposites – two different energies coming together to form the whole of existence. Light and dark, night and day, up and down, define each other by the other’s absence, and blend together to create endless shades in between. Ancient Chinese philosophers noticed these opposing forces and created the iconic yin-yang symbol to visualize their interdependence. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, these energies aren’t seen merely as philosophy – they are literal energies that govern health and balance in our lives. You might be wondering, what’s yin and yang?
The earliest reference to yin & yang dates back to 700 B.C. in one of the most iconic works of classical Chinese literature, the I Ching or Book of Changes. The dynamics between yin and yang are seen as the cause of all changes. Yang represents the energy of heaven, and yin represents the energy of earth. Both oppose, yet complement each other, and one cause the other to exist.
Yin-yang translates to “dark-bright”. This energy is found within all living things, including the human body. Our energy can tip towards either side of this on any given day, depending on our lifestyle choices. The foods we eat, and the activities we choose to participate in all contribute to the type of energy that accumulates most. The decisions we make over time can either lead us to greater health, or to harmful imbalances needing professional healthcare.
Yang energy is the active, masculine side of this polarity. It is associated with; the light, the sun, air, fire, activity and expansion. In the body, yang feels hot and tingly. Excess yang may express itself through dry skin, accelerated pulse, irritability and restlessness. Yang energy is accumulated though eating meat such as chicken, beef, & lamb, as well as onions, garlic, ginger, onions, peppers, pumpkin, and cherries.
Yin energy is the receptive, feminine pole of the energy. It is connected to dark, cool things, like the moon, earth, water, matter, and contraction. Excess yin may manifest as having low energy, a lack of desire to drink, shallow pulse, and water retention. Yin energy can be cultivated through diet by incorporating dark leafy greens, cucumbers, watermelons, radishes, sea weeds and green and herbal teas like chamomile and mint. Including both yin and yang foods in the diet is best for keeping energetic balance.
Yin and Yang Qi can also be cultivated through various activities. These are some of the self-care activities you can do to help balance your energy:
To increase Yin:
– Take a nap, and go to sleep early
– Enjoy a hot bath or shower
– Go to the spa to get a massage or facial
– Get acupuncture
To increase Yang:
– Exercise or go for a run
– Work with a life or business coach
– Create something with your hands
– Participate in a group activity
To study these energies, Dr. Norm Shealy developed a research clinic at Holos University in Springfield Missouri. Following a recommendation from reputable healer, Jim Carter, Dr. Shealy created beds out of two different material Jim said would boost either yin or yang energy. There is a special kind of naturally occurring mica that is found to stimulate yang energy, while contact with the ore of Gold Iodide (a by-product of gold smelting) brings one in touch with yin energy.
According to a direct account from Claude Swanson, Ph.D., who experienced these beds first-hand:
The mica bed, “…is loaded with yang energy. When I lay on it for the first time, I began sweating and my heart raced faster, almost too fast. My skin felt prickly and I grew quite uncomfortable. If a person already has too much yang, then he does not need to lie on the mica bed.”
He said his experience with the Gold Iode bed, “… felt wonderful. It was so soothing, so peaceful. As I lay on it I felt quiet. I could feel the heat draining from my body. My heart calmed down, and I felt refreshed and healed after a half hour or so lying on it.”
Other ways to balance yin and yang in the body include stimulation of the correct acupoints through acupuncture, massage, or laser stimulation. Energy healing has proved to be extremely effective for correcting energetic imbalances in the body. Proper chi flow and balance is becoming increasingly known as important factor to consider for ultimate health and longevity.
“Life Force: The Scientific Basis, by Claude Swanson, Ph.D.