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Ying/Yang of Chinese Medicine

Reference #: 907
Submit Date: 16 Jun 2007
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Country of Remedy: China
Remedy Source: chineses folklore
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Remedy Description

Source: Tao of Health Sex and Longevity, Daniel Reid,Fireside Books, 1989, pp 23-24.

Yin and Yang of Chinese Medicine

"...In Chinese medicine, for example, the ten vital organs are divided into

five pairs, each consisting of one 'solid' Yin organ and one 'hollow' Yang

organ. The Yin organs are more vital than the Yangs, and dysfunctions of

Yin organs cause the greatest health problems. The organs are not

arbitrarily paired. They are linked by concrete functional and anatomical


Heart Called the 'Chief of the Vital Organs', the heart regulates

other organs by controlling circulation of blood. It houses spirit and

governs moods and mental clarity. The condition of heart-energy is

reflected in the color of the face and tongue: dark red indicates excess,

pale grey indicates deficiency. The heart is paired with the small intestine,

which separates the pure from the impure by-products of digestion,

controls the ratio of liquids to solid wastes, and absorbs nutrients, which

it then sends to the heart for circulation throughout the body.

Liver The liver stores and enriches blood and regulates the amount

released into the blood stream for general circulation. 'When man moves,

blood moves; when man is still, blood returns to the liver,' states the

Yellow Emperor's Classic. This statement accords precisely with the estab-

lished medical fact that during periods of rest, especially in cold weather,

30-50 per cent of the body's blood supply collects in the liver and

pancreas. During sleep, blood is fortified in the liver for use by the rest of

the body during activity. The liver houses the human soul (hun), as

reflected in the Chinese term hsin-gan ('heart and liver'), which means

'sweetheart' or 'dear'. The heart and liver house our most distinctly

human attributes.

The liver is the body's metabolic headquarters, and therefore it is most

directly responsible for a person's overall sense of well-being and vitality.

Liver conditions are reflected in the eyes, fingernails, toenails and

"muscles. The liver's Yang partner is the gallbladder, whose intimate

functional relationship with the liver is well recognized by Western


Pancreas The pancreas controls production of vital enzymes needed

for digestion and metabolism. This function links it directly with its

paired Yang partner, the stomach. If the pancreas fails to produce

Efficient enzymes, digestion in the stomach stagnates, causing food to

ferment and putrefy instead of digest. The pancreas controls the human

tribute of rational thought. Its dysfunction is reflected by emaciation of

the skin, flesh and limbs, poor muscle tone, chronic fatigue, stagnant

digestion and inability to concentrate.

Lungs 'Lungs control chee', state Chinese medical texts. Since chee

means 'breath' as well as 'energy', the lungs govern both breathing and

energy circulation. When breath is deficient, so is energy. The Yin lungs

are associated with the Yang large intestine. Lung conditions are reflected

in the skin, a fact well known to Western medicine, for the skin itself is a

respiratory organ, and both the lungs and the large intestine are actually

internal extensions of the skin, one pushed down from the top and the

other up from the bottom. Pneumonia and other severe respiratory

ailments are generally accompanied by constipation, and constipation

usually causes distension and discomfort in the chest.

Kidneys 'The kidneys control water'. Excess water and waste fluids

are sent to the kidneys and converted into urine, then passed down to the

bladder for excretion. Thus the bladder is functionally linked to the

kidneys as their hollow Yang partner. The kidneys are called the 'Gate of

Life' because they control the overall balance of vital fluids in the body,

which in turn directly influences energy level and balance. The kidneys

are the major balancers of Yin and Yang in the human system. They house

the human attribute of will-power and control the marrow, loins, lumbar

and sacral regions. Their dysfunction is often indicated by lower back

pains and the inability to straighten the spine. They are closely connected

with the adrenal cortex (suprarenal glands), which straddle them and

secrete cortisone, adrenaline and vital sex hormones into the blood

stream. The kidneys and their related glands thus control sexual func-

tions and potency.

Yin and Yang manifest themselves in every conceivable contrast, large-

scale and small. In the human body, Yin controls internal surfaces, lower

regions and front parts, both on the body as a whole and on each

individual organ, while Yang governs external surfaces, upper regions

and back parts. Yin controls blood, Yang governs energy. Innate instincts

belong to Yin, acquired skills to Yang. Yin descends, Yang ascends.

Eating is a nourishing Yin activity, while drinking alcohol is a depleting

Yang activity. In breathing, inhalation is Yin, exhalation is Yang. In the

turn of seasons, cool Autumn and cold Winter belong to Yin, warm spring

and hot summer to Yang. The list of complements is endless, but the

point always remains the same: nothing exists or functions except in

direct conjunction with its own essential opposite, and all abnormal

phenomena, from disease to thunderstorms, are caused by a critical

imbalance between these two primordial forces.

Common symptoms of 'Yang-excess' include red complexion, high

body temperature, dryness, hyperactivity, constipation and rapid pulse.

'Yin-excess' is reflected in a pale complexion, chills, dampness in the

joints, lethargy, loose bowels and slow pulse. At this point, the Chinese

physician steps in and performs an extraordinary balancing act to restore

harmony among the body's various energies. Using powerful herbs,

acupuncture, massage, diet and other traditional methods, he 'tonifies'

deficient energy, 'suppresses' excess, 'cools' heat energy, 'warms' cold

energy, 'dries' dampness, 'moistens' dryness, 'drives out' evil energy,

and 'cultivates' nourishing energy.

The principles of Yin and Yang apply to everything from the move-

ment of stars and planets to the most minute cellular functions of the

body. Taoist dietary laws are based on the Yin/Yang balance of 'hot' and

'cold' foods, 'hot' and 'cold' referring to neither temperature nor flavor

but to the sort of energy released when the food is digested. Chinese

herbalists concoct and prescribe formulas based on Yin/Yang theory,

blending 'warming' formulas for 'cold' conditions, 'cooling' formulas for

'hot' ailments, 'drying' blends for 'dampness', and so forth. In Taoist

sexual Yoga, the abundant and powerful Yin element of woman is

carefully balanced with the limited and vulnerable Yang energy of man.

Another extension of Yin and Yang is found in Chinese geomancy,

known asfeng-shui, literally 'wind and water'. The science of geomancy is

based on both the cosmic and geological aspects of Yin and Yang. Its

purpose is to determine the most advantageous position for erecting

human dwellings so that occupants derive maximum benefits from the

natural flow of cosmic forces in the area. The positions and angles of

mountains, valleys, trees, rocks and bodies of water relative to the

structure to be erected are carefully calculated to insure that no part of the

building interferes in any way with the invisible 'dragon veins' that

conduct Yang energy down from heaven and Yin energy up from earth.

Temples and hermitages in China have always been built according to

feng-shui, which perhaps explains why they seem to 'fit' so well into their

natural surroundings.

This remedy can also be used for: