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Five Elements

  The theory of Five Elements holds that wood, fire, earth, metal and water are five basic materials constituting the material world.   There is among them an inter-depending and inter-restraining relation which puts them in a state of constant motion and...

Yin Yang – The Principle of Opposites Part 3

In diagnosis “The skilled practitioner examines the countenance and feels the pulse. First dividing them into Yin and Yang, he judges the pure (Yang ) and the impure (Yin) and thus knows the diseased part of the body… He feels the pulse to ascertain whether it is floating (Yang), deep (Yin), slippery (Yang) or rough (Yin) and knows where the disease orginated. Thus, no mistake would be made both in diagnosis and in treatment.” – Su Wen (Plain Questions) In treatment In the treatment of disease: If Yang is hot and over-abundant, thus injuring the Yin fluid (Yang excess causing a Yin disease), the surplus Yang can be decreased by a method called “cooling what is hot“; If Yin is cold and over-abundant, thus injuring the Yang Qi (Yin excess causing Yang disease), the surplus Yin can be decreased by the method called “heating what is cold“. Conversely: If Yin fluid is deficient and so, unable to control the Yang, causes it to become violent; Or If Yang Qi is deficient and unable to control Yin, causes it to become over-abundant, then the deficiency must be tonified. The Neijing (Internal Classic) describes the method: Thus: “In Yang diseases treat the Yin; in Yin diseases treat the...

Yin Yang – The Principle of Opposites Part1

What are Yin and Yang?   Yin and Yang are: The Tao of heaven and earth (the basic law of opposition and unity in the natural world), The fundamental principle of the myriad things (all things can only obey this law and cannot transgress it), The originators (literally parents) of change (change in all things is according to this law), The beginning of birth and death (the birth and creating, death and destruction of all things begins with this law). The storehouse of Shen Ming (the location of all that is mysterious in the natural world). The treatment of disease must be sought for in this basic law (man is one of the living things of nature, so the curing of disease must be sought for in this basic law). ~ Shu Wen (Plain Question) For life as we know it to be possible with all its richness and variety, its infinite potentialities for good and ill, this world had to be split in two. The Unity had to become a duality; and from this duality arose the idea of the complementary opposites, the negative and the positive, which the Chinese called the Yin and Yang. These two principles are at the very root of the Chinese way of life; they pervade all their art, literature and philosophy and are therefore also embodied in their theories of traditional medicine. These principles are of course, up to a point, accepted in the West. Every phenomenon can be divided into its two contrary components. Male and female, hard and soft, good and bad, positive and negative electrical charges, laevorotary and dextrorotary...

Yin Yang – The Principles of Opposites – part 2

Since everything in the life can be classified according to its Yin and Yang components, it is said: “Now the Yin/Yang has a name but no form. Thus it can be extended from one to ten, from ten to a hundred, from a hundred to a thousand, from a thousand to ten thousand (i.e. it can embrace all things).” – Ling Shu (Spiritual Pivot) Each component not only opposes but also contains its opposite, for: “There is Yin within the Yin and Yang within the Yang. From dawn till noon the Yang of the Heaven is the Yang within the Yang; from noon till dusk the Yang of heaven is the Yin within the Yang; from dusk till midnight the Yin of heaven is the Yin within the Yin; from midnight till dawn the Yin of heaven is the Yang within the Yin.” – Su Wen (Plain Questions) Thus ”functional movement” belongs to Yang, ”nourishing substance” to Yin, nor can the one exist without the other; for, if the intestines and other internal organs do not move, ”nourishing substances” can not be digested and, if over a long period ”nourishing substances” are not provided, the organs cease to move. “yin in the interior is the guardian of Yang; Yang in the exterior is the activator of Yin.” – Su Wen (Plain Questions) The opposition of Yin and Yang is not static; it is a perpetually changing rhythm of movement, whose interplay produces growth, transformation and death. “The relation of Yin and Yang is the means whereby the myriad things are able to come to birth, Yin and Yang react...