Power of Energetics: Yin and Yang

yinyang-2

 

Everyone has seen or heard of this symbol at some time in their life.  In the last few years, the Yin-Yang symbol has been used in the main stream as more of an ornament or a trend. People are using it with only the basic knowledge of what it represents.  Today we are going to go beyond the trend, we are going to look at what yin and yang means and how it correlates to the Energetics of Food.

 

 

 

 

“Yin and yang are the law of Heaven and Earth, the outline of everything, the parents of change, the origin of birth and destruction, and the house of shen ming (God or higher consciousness, the spirit, Tao), when curing sicknesses we should base our point of view on the roots (Yin and Yang)”.  

-Neijing

 

yinyangChinese Medicine and energetics are based off balance, within the body, mind and spirit, it is the unity of all things and the way of the universe.  From this unity yin and yang emerge, a representation of the continual change seen throughout the universe.  Yin and Yang are both seen in opposition as well as interdependent.  The world is continually changing, a cyclical motion that never ends,there is no beginning or end, cause and effect are not separate but one perpetually turns into the other.  The classic dilemma of what came first, the chicken or the egg, is not a dilemma within Chinese thought—the egg and the chicken are dependent of each other in the process of creation, both must exist for either to exist. The chicken makes the egg (yang generating yin) and the chicken grows out of the egg (yin producing yang).  Other examples of this philosophy are that day does not cause night, birth does not cause death, and summer does not create winter.

 

Yin and yang also describes the human process—youth is yang and older years are yin. When we breath in—expanding our chests—we are in the yang phase of respiration, when we breath out—emptying the lungs— we are in the yin phase.  Our whole body continuously fills and empties: lungs, stomach, intestines, hearts, and minds.  The materials that make up the body are yin and they are used for the transformation of yang.  Food is yin, which is then transformed by metabolic activity, yang.  Sperm (yang) joins and transforms the egg (yin), creating new life through merging and interacting.

 

The body’s organs are also split into yin and yang. The dense Yin Organs are the Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung, and Kidney; they perform the function of assimilation and storage.  The Yang Organs are the Gallbladder, Small Intestines, Stomach, Large Intestines, and Bladder; they perform the functions of digestion and elimination.  In Chinese Medicine, these are the only organs used to diagnose illness, as they are linked to your Meridian Channels and Qi. In terms of psyche, yang is willfulness, desire, and assertiveness; yin is acceptance, responsiveness, repose, and responsibility.

 

However, yin and yang are always fluctuating and there are no absolutes—the Heart is a yin organ and the propulsion of blood and fluids through it’s contractions is yang.  This is the definition of yang within the yin.  Any aspect of yin and yang can further be divided into yin and yang.  In the symbol for yin and yang, this concept can be seen in the small circle of white within the black half, and the small circle of black within the white half.

 

The roots of disease and illness can be seen as imbalances within the body of yin and yang. Yin responds to yang’s stimulus and yang is supported by the solidarity of yin.  When one of these is off balanced—by either having an excess or deficiency—Qi, body, blood, or organs are also effected. Illnesses that are characterized by weakness, slowness, coldness, and under activity are yin. Illnesses characterized by strength, forceful movements, heat, and overactivity are yang.  A deficiency in one creates an excess in the other.  Yin cannot exist if there is an extreme abundance of yang. This extreme difference can take a profound transformation into shock, or worse, a complete division of yin and yang—death.

 

imagesBy becoming aware of the changes in our lives between yin and yang, we become attentive to our personal patterns and the order of the changes within our bodies, minds and spirits. Our bodies are in an unfaltering cycle of yin and yang, a constant state of merging and transforming, and it is important to become aware of these fluctuations. Awareness will help you find balance to allow you to move fluidly between yin and yang without being struck with an excess of either.

 

While waiting for the next installment, please take a look at the foods in our other blogs to see how to choose the most nutritious groceries, how to store them to retain freshness, the nutritional benefits, and of course—the energetics.