Yin and Yang. Almost all of us knows this very famous sign combining black and white elements in the perfect harmony of a circle. Maybe you also know that the yin-yang sign derives from Chinese philosophy. But what do yin and yang have to do with TCM and our health?
Back to the roots: Tao
Let’s embark on a journey back to the origin. The idea of yin and yang derives from the philosophy of Taoism. This philosophical worldview has its roots in China in the 4th century BC. However, it is assumed that Taoism is much older and goes back thousands of years to oral and shamanic traditions.
In Chinese philosophy, “Tao” means “way”, “method” or “principle”. In a broader sense, it is also understood as the cosmic law. Everything we find in this world, in the cosmos and in the universe originated and arises from the Tao. In our physical world, the Tao can also be related to the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe.
Opposites that unite
Without brightness there is no darkness and without light there is no shadow. In our world, the creative force is expressed as a duality, which manifests itself in a three-dimensional world. Everything consists of (apparent) opposites – such as big and small, male and female, active and passive or heavy and easy, to name a few examples.
Our entire world is built from the interplay of these opposites. It is precisely this idea that the sign of yin and yang expresses. In a way, the sign represents the famous two sides of the coin. The opposites of black and white unite to form a harmonious circle – the Tao.
Yin represents darkness, night, the feminine aspect, introversion, contraction, cold, humidity, the chronic or the moon. Yang embodies brightness, day, the masculine aspect, extroversion, expansion, warmth, dryness, the acute or the sun.
Everything is connected
One element cannot exist without the other, because everything is connected to everything. If, for example, we do not know what brightness feels like, then we cannot know darkness either. Every light casts a shadow and only by experiencing shadows we can also observe the light. No matter what situation we are in or what we are currently perceiving: In every state there is always the essence of its opposite pole, too.
In the sign of yin and yang, the dynamic interdependence of the opposites is expressed with the two small dots. In each of the two curved elements, a little point of the opposite color can be found.
Yin, yang and our health
So far so good. But what does this have to do with health?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a person is only healthy when when all physical and subtle aspects of body, mind, spirit and the environment are in harmony.
When yin and yang or body, mind and soul are in harmony, there is balance. As a result, we feel healthy, agile, fit and relaxed. If an element becomes too strong or too weak, a disharmony arises and our entire system is no longer in balance.
According to the ideas of Traditional Chinese Medicine, dissonances and imbalances lead to illness.
Healthy yin – healthy yang
In TCM, yin controls body fluids, such as our blood. Having a healthy yin means that we obtain all of life’s liquids are in a harmonious flow . It ensures that we can relax and unwind well. As such, yin not only controls good sleep, but it is also responsible for strong nerves. Yin cools the body. Serenity, balance and patience are three of his essential qualities. A healthy yin manifests itself in strong bones and teeth, bright eyes, shiny hair and healthy rosy lips and cheeks.
A healthy yang manifests itself in life force and energy. Its characteristics include action, clarity and performance. Yang ensures that our digestion and the immune system function well. It is the engine that drives us forward in life and gives us willpower and motivation to take action. Energy (qi) and heat are both aspects of yang.
Yin, yang, health and nutrition
It is our goal that that we therefore live in harmony within ourselves and with our environment. Nutrition plays an essential role in this too and we keep saying “You are what you eat.”
Food is the lubricating oil of our body. The type of “oil” we feed our body has a tremendous influence on the functioning of our “engine” – that is, the body and everything else our true nature consists of. Whether our whole system “runs” either better or worse is therefore related to the type of food we eat.
Yin, yang and health. If we are aware of the interplay of yin and yang and know, for example, about the effects of different foods, we can balance existing imbalances. In this way, we support body, mind and soul in the prevention and cure of diseases.
In my coaching sessions, we look at your life themes from a holistic perspective. In addition to mental practices, my tool box always includes aspects that provide harmony on all levels. Are you interested in helene.moves coaching? Get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.
Much love & metta, Helene