The Foundation of Chinese Medicine Theory

Acupuncture, as practiced by an acupuncturist, considers the body as a whole, and is based on the observation of nature – a system of medicine that has been refined for 3000 years. It sees patterns in health, and if we follow those natural rhythms and flow with nature we will be free from suffering (IN THEORY!).

Yin Yang is the foundation of this theory. It stems from Daoism/Taoism. It is a concept that is used to describe the nature of all things!

Things/people/actions/activities etc etc are all described as being Yin or Yang in nature: and its always relative, for example the Moon is Yin and the Sun is Yang, yet the bright side of the moon is the Yang of the moon, while the dark side is Yin in nature (compared to the bright side).

Yin: is considered a more feminine, gentle, soft, slow, cool dark energy.

Yang more masculine, energetic, warm, fast, bright energy.

Both are completely necessary in their own right to create this thing called life – it is their constant interaction and shifting that creates life, and that interaction makes a ‘whole’ (yin+yang=1)

Day turns into night; summer into winter; this is the shift from yang to yin.

In the body the Yin is the front of us, it is the nurturing, calming, cooling, soothing side of us while yang is the back energetic, warming, invigorating side to us.

All the in terms of their yang or yin energetics, this division of Qi (vital force) is always in a state of change and is another way of describing homeostasis – our bodies way of maintaining a safe equilibrium, yet allowing for all the changes that happen with our body & the environment we interact with..


This is where it gets a bit complicated haha!

All disease, discomfort in our bodies can be described as either yin or yang (we tend to think deficiency, as its hard to have an excess) – so if you have say depression, it is Yin in nature as it forces us to retreat, however internally our minds could be racing (more yang); pain that is better for rest (Yin activity) or heat (YANG activity). The time of day matters – are you symptoms worse at night time then your Yin is not keeping your Yang in check (so you Yin is deficient).

All this is why I ask SOOO many questions when you come to see me – it all influences how I tailor the treatment to suit what you need.

Implementing this in Life

Taken From Inside Out Style Blog
Taken from Inside Out Style Blog

It essentially boils down to finding balance. Consider what activities you do day in, day out, and then consider if they are Yin or Yang in nature (most of what we do is Yang).

So many of us are physically more Yin these days – we don’t necessarily move much at work, nor in travelling, nor in relaxing! As such its worth ensuring we do some physical activity on a regular basis. That said, our minds dont often get rest – we are most definitely in an information age (not forgetting the irony of me adding to it!), and as such it is important to also add some Yin activities to our mind work – meditation, yoga.

Also consider how you react and interact with others – find the balance between exuberant and downcast behaviours/attitudes.

The time of year should also be taken into consideration – we are just leaving a dominant Yang time (summer) and heading towards Yin (winter) and today actually marks the balance of each (autumn equinox). In the summer, we can do far more outward – expansive, energetic activites. Conversely winter is a time for quiet introspection.

It is an incredibly simple way of considering all our actions, behaviours, foods we eat and even the clothes we choose to wear that if we do our best to try to balance them out we have live a more harmonious, healthy, balanced life.

About Paula

Paula is a degree qualified accredited acupuncturist, and full member of the British Acupuncture Council. As well as providing acupuncture, cupping, pregnancy and abdominal massage, she also manages Health Rediscovered and writes for our blog.

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