Yin Yang – Part 3: Constant change

The theory of Yin – Yang is the most important concept in Traditional Oriental Medicine, as all of its more complex medical knowledge derives from this basic foundation.

In Part 1, it was seen how all natural phenomena can be classified into opposite pairs of Yin & Yang, and Part 2 described how these opposite pairs can influence each other in sickness or health.

Another aspect of Yin – Yang is that of constant change – nothing in nature is truly static and unchanging but instead is always in a state of transformation from one extreme towards the other. When these changes occur within set boundaries, it produces stability and order rather than instability and chaos.

A common example of this would be the regulation of your body temperature. Although it normally appears to be stable, the temperature is in fact constantly increasing and decreasing within a small range, similar to how a thermostat controls a heater.

In Western medicine, this concept is known as homeostasis and is responsible for keeping all of your body’s systems in healthy balance between extremes, ranging from the oxygen – carbon dioxide levels of the respiratory system to the acid – base pH of the blood.

Diet, lifestyle, emotions – so many various factors can have an influence on a person’s health, and the more out of balance things become the greater the tendency to fluctuate between extremes of Yin & Yang in order to maintain equilibrium.

For instance, if someone suffers from fatigue they may tend to overuse artificial stimulants such as sugar, caffeine, or other drugs to regain their energy, often beginning the cycle of highs followed with the crashing lows. Another example would be a menopausal women suffering from hot flashes, as the extreme heat and night sweats is often followed by cold chills.

A large part of the focus of Eastern Medicine, whether through acupuncture, shiatsu massage, herbal medicine, or other treatment modalities, is to help regulate the various systems of the body and allow the person to return to a healthy state of balance.

Improving your health is an ongoing process of change, a constant journey of small positive steps.