Do you know what Yin is?



Happy Solstice! It’s a time for seasonal transformation, and brings to mind the insights of the ancient Chinese philosophy of medicine, specifically the concept of Yin and Yang. Its influence can be found and expressed in all aspects of life, and help us to understand nature, the body, health and disease. It is all about balance.
It is believed that the first perception of Yin and Yang was based on experiencing night and day. Activity and daytime were recognized as Yang, while rest and night time became known as Yin. Similar perceptions were applied to the sun and moon, dry and wet, hot and cold, external and internal, fire and water, above and below.
Each of these cycles fade into and out of each other repeatedly, the alternation of Yin and Yang drives change and development of all things in nature. Spring can be viewed like dawn or yang within yin, and autumn like dusk, or yin within yang.
Yin and Yang are relative, in that things are only one or the other in relation to something else. There cannot be activity without rest, wellness without sickness, happiness without sadness. This is why in the Yin-Yang symbol there is light within the dark and dark within the light. One depends on the other producing change and growth, like when leaves fall in the forest in autumn and decay in the winter producing flowers in spring.
The Nei Jing, one of the main classical Chinese medicine texts says: “Spring is the beginning of things, when the energy should be kept open and fluid; summer opens up further into an exchange or communication between internal and external energies; in the fall it is important to conserve; finally, the winter is dominated by the storage of energy.”
Understanding the inter-transformation of nature can help us to understand our needs, find our balance, and prevent disease or burnout. Balance is prevention, both in our physical and mental health. When yin or yang are out of balance, they affect each other and will achieve a new relationship (i.e. more yin leads to decreased yang and vice versa), which is actually an imbalance.
In winter we can embrace the interdependence of yin and yang around and within us. Yin is conservation and storage while yang is transformation and change. One helps to achieve the other. This applies to moments, days, weeks, and seasons.
To stay in balance, find moments to get in touch with yin during this yin time of year while socially during the holidays we go at a yang pace. Find a moment of stillness or meditation on a hectic day, for example. Feeling dark, heavy or down? Light candles in the house, wear brighter or warmer colors, cultivate a delicious soup. Especially around the solstice when yin and yang are fading into and out of each other, know that we are in the natural cycle of things, all necessary for transformation of change of all living things.
Finally, remember that the underlying principle of acupuncture is balance. In addition to the moments and actions that we find on our own, getting regular acupuncture balances the energy flowing within us that often gets stuck as a result of daily life and stress.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 19th, 2016 at 10:43 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.