The Balance of Yin and Yang

Within this concept of qi, is a balancing system so perfectly simple that it can be applied to absolutely everything, from the limitless universe to the tiniest known molecule. This is the Theory of Yin and Yang. 

Originally, the Yin and Yang concept was observed in nature and in the environment, that established a dynamic thought process that is very relevant when it comes to staying healthy. 

While many people misinterpret the concept of Yin and Yang as being opposites, such as black versus white, good versus evil, night versus day or as in the phrase, "opposites attract", in fact Yin and Yang intermingle with each other. If a need arises, in others words, if the Yin is higher than the Yang, the one will become more involved to balance Yin. Neither Yin nor Yang is implicitly good or bad but rather more like two sides of a coin: Heads on one side and tails on the other, you can't have one without the other. 

Yin can change the Yang, as needed, and vice versa.


We see examples of this when we talk about:

  • Fever and then Chills

  • An excited toddler, running around, getting into mischief, yelling, laughing, suddenly falls asleep

  • Contact with ice cream can feel like a burn

Therefore, we think about extreme of one is the extreme of the other. So within Yin, there is Yang and within Yang, there is Yin, hence there is a dark or light colored dot representing one within the other.

The normal body acts like a pendulum, swinging more towards one or the other. If Yang is weak, there may be symptoms of coldness and tiredness and, if Yin is weak, signs of heat and agitation. 

If Yang is too strong, there may be signs of heat rising upwards to the head, and if Yin is too strong, signs of coldness and water retention are present. The pendulum continuously swings between the two, but when there is an obvious difference between them, illness will ensue.

An example might be, an exhausted person may suffer from lower back pain due to weak Yang in the Kidney. They may also have headaches in the temples from too much stress at work, causing weak Yin in the Liver. 

In this way, both Yin and Yang can be imbalanced at the same time within different parts of the body. The application of Yin-Yang theory means that it would be possible to follow this pattern, all the way down to a microscopic cellular level and still find Yin and Yang imbalances. 

The lifestyle we lead has a direct bearing on how long we live. A recent American study reported that more than half the deaths in women from chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease could have been avoided if they had exercised, refrained from smoking, and eaten a diet consisting of large quantities of vegetables, fruits and nuts, legumes, fish and seafood, and cereals, and a low intake of meat and meat products and bad fats. The balance of how we lead our lives can all too often become either too yang or too yin and, therefore, a potential cause of ill health. Signs that our lives are either too yang or too yin include: 

Too YANG: Working long hours, stressed, eating late into the evening, sleeping in the early hours, rushing from place to place, and doing too much.

Too YIN: Seated at a desk for most of the day, watching television, playing computer games, surfing the internet, driving instead of walking, and snacking.

The same patterns of Yin and Yang, rising and falling, exist when we venture deeper within the body. Blood, Qi, Vessels, and Organs all have their own Yin-Yang balance.  This may or may not be contributing to the balance of the whole body. 

The body is therefore in a constant state of Yin Yang balance, on so many different levels from one moment to the next. As the balances become more skewed, one way or the other, physical signs often appear that give us clues about where the Yin-Yang imbalances are, and also how severe they may be. 

This Yin/Yang chart will give you some common, useful associations and characteristics.

Yin Yang Chart.JPG