Understanding Yin and Yang Energy Systems
Healing the body is inextricably linked with healing other aspects of ourselves.
You can certainly help the process by working within as well, looking at the emotional and mental states which may be connected to your illness.
In a diseased person/patient there is mental and emotional tension, constricted breathing and a tense body. If we can release these tensions the energy or Chi can flow and as it flows it brings healing.
Relieve tension by doing exercise, meditation and relaxation techniques which encourage the energy to flow to all parts of the body.
The healing process can begin with either the physical or the emotional aspect of the disease.
As the organ becomes well, the negative expression of the emotion associated with it is replaced by the positive one and restoration of better health is underway.
This process of healing can also work the other way, for example replacing the negative emotion with its positive equivalent can help to heal the organ associated with it.
So healing can start either with the physical body or in the mind and emotions – or in both at the same time.
This approach is very similar to modern holistic healing methods which diagnose not only the physical problem but also the emotional and mental states of a person.
Many illnesses can be attributed or linked to the thought patterns which may have contributed to them and showing how, by changing the thought, we can change or alter the condition.
All life is an expression of energy and this energy is thought to manifest in different concentrations in the mind, body and spirit.
Imbalances in one level of energy are thought to affect the other levels because energy is not static.
Yin/Yang Energy Healing
Energy moves and flows and in order to do so properly it needs two poles (as in electrical positive and negative connections), so that it can go from one point to another. In other words yin being one point and yang the other point.
All aspects of life can be defined as being either yin or yang, however, we need to realize that everything is yin in relation to yang and is yang in relation to yin.
It is also very important to understand that although yin and yang are interdependent they are both equally important.
Yin can transform itself into yang and yang can transform itself into yin. An example of this is shown in the movement of the seasons from summer to winter and of the movement of day into night.
In an ideal world it is very important that yin and yang are balanced harmoniously.
Excesses of either Yin or Yang are dangerous as there will obviously be an imbalance.
Yin and Yang has been symbolized as two intertwined figures within a circle, one is usually black and the other one white.
Traditional Chinese medicine believe that different types of energy imbalances are the root cause of most illnesses. Too much Yin and not enough Yang will cause an imbalance as will Too Much Yang and not enough Yin.
The symptoms of too much Yang are excessive heat in the body: redness in the whole face not just the cheeks, a craving for coolness, inflammation, dryness, red rashes on the skin, restlessness, a strong tendency towards anger, loudness, impatience and aggression.
Sometimes there are bursting-type symptoms such as headaches and migraines as well as high blood pressure and hyperactivity. The pulse is quite rapid and feels strong, the tongue may be redder than usual and the urine dark and copious. Remedies are needed to help cool down the Yang.
The symptoms of too little Yang (or Empty-Yang) is excessive coldness where the person feels cold, with cold limbs and lower back and has a tendency to chills which is worse in winter. The complexion is pale, the sexual desire is low, the pulse is slow and weak, the tongue is pale and there is frequent pale urine. There is a feeling of general tiredness and the person gets fatigued easily. Remedies are needed to warm up the body and help raise the Yang.
The body needs a good level of moisture and coolness to counterbalance the process of combustion and heat and sometimes the equilibrium is disturbed.
In the case of too little Yin (or Empty-Yin) the symptoms are sometimes confused with too much Yang; in fact the problem is not too much Yang but too little Yin to balance it.
Symptoms of Empty-Yin are a pale face with red dots on the cheeks (also known as a malor flush), very dry skin, a tendency to dry coughs with an inflamed throat, hot palms and soles of feet particularly at night, night sweats, hot flushes and feverishness in the afternoon as well as listlessness and fatigue.
These symptoms get worse in hot or very hot weather. The pulse is rapid but weak and the urine is scanty but frequent and dark. The tongue could be scarlet, cracked or peeled. Remedies are needed to have a combination of coolness and moistness in them not warming which will have an adverse affect.
Examples of Yin and Yang are as follows –
cool/cold (yin) – warm/hot (yang)
dark (yin) – bright (yang)
receptive (yin) – active (yang)
winter (yin) – summer (yang)
internal (yin) – external (yang)
soft (yin) – hard (yang)
flexible (yin) – rigid (yang)
moist (yin) – dry (yang)
rest (yin) – activity (yang)
Energy or CHI
Energy must be free-flowing and ‘stuck chi’ means an energy blockage or ‘stuck energy’ (Chi in Chinese means energy).
Stuck Chi very often affects the digestive system, which naturally has a downward flow of energy from the stomach through the intestines. The energy in the digestive system can get stuck and go up instead of down, creating conditions such as bloating, hiccups, stomach distention, wind-pain, gas or flatulence and heartburn.
Stuck Chi is often improved by exercise and movement as well as by taking specific herbs, spices and other foods that contain little or no sugar, starch, flour and/or wheat products.
It is very important that you do not overeat ‘stodgy’ or heavy meals which may block digestion and hamper the downward flow of chi.
According to Chinese medicine, energy moves the blood. If this energy becomes stuck, as in ‘stuck chi’ the result may be a condition described as stagnant blood. This condition usually affects women more so than men.
The symptoms of stagnant blood are broken capillaries, dark purple spots on the skin, purple varicose veins and stabbing pains. These pains are often experienced by women before a period or during the first day of menstruation with dark clots in the blood. The liver is often affected too.
In Chinese medicine the liver is considered to be largely responsible for the free flow of energy of the body. Both ‘stuck chi’ and ‘stagnant blood’ are often related to feelings of frustration and irritation; the energy which wants to express itself creatively and vibrantly is blocked and inhibited.
Dampness is a condition that is often experienced by people living in humid countries or damp surroundings (such as basements) as well as those people who have to work in water or those who cook for a living as there is a great deal of vapour and moisture in the air. Dampness gives the feeling of heaviness and turbidity.
The main symptoms of dampness is a feeling of swelling, as if there is liquid underneath the skin. This may be in the abdomen or in the head, although it usually affects the joints and is considered to be the main cause of Rheumatism.
There are two types of dampness: cold dampness and hot dampness.
Cold dampness is more frequent during the winter. There is often swelling with cramp-like pains. There may also be a white coating on the tongue and if there are any discharges they are usually white and the person feels chilly and cold.
In hot dampness or damp heat, there is more swelling, with redness and burning and the discharges tend to be more yellow in colour. Hot dampness is more common in hot, humid countries, although it can occur in cooler climates as a result of eating too many fried and spicy foods. All forms of dampness are aggravated by eating fatty or oily food.
Mucus or phlegm is a common condition which is considered to be an advanced form of dampness and also a sign of digestive weakness, in as far as the digestive system is being overloaded with, or is unable to eliminate fatty substances.
The respiratory system can often be affected, creating a runny or blocked nose with mucus, phlegm or catarrh, or there could be mucus in the chest/lungs.
Sometimes the mucus might be so loose that the person can bring it up,or it could be stuck so that although there is a great deal of rattling in the chest the person cannot expectorate it.
As with dampness, mucus can be either cold or hot. When the mucus is cold it is transparent and the person feels chilly. In hot mucus, the colour is yellow, green or brown and is accompanied by symptoms of heat in the body.
Empty or weak blood resembles Anaemia and the treatment is very similar. Symptoms of empty or weak blood are pale face, weak nails, brittle hair with split ends, hazy vision, dizziness and dry skin. Eat foods that are high in iron such as spinach, beetroot, parsley, watercress, apricots, dates, figs, berries, liver, red meats, beans and lentils.
It is never too late to improve your eating habits where necessary and in doing so you will not only assist the healing of specific ailments but also greatly benefit your general health and well-being.