Yin, Yang, The Great Integrity and You

A blog about yin and yang? Isn’t this website about my health? Exactly.

Understanding and knowing how to use the principles of yin and yang will give you tremendous leverage over your health and well-being.

The concept of yin and yang is the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine. Recently, I have been lecturing to doctors around the country on the concept and how it relates to every doctor’s practice when observing and serving patients. Indeed, restoring harmony to yin and yang is the essence of healing and health.

Origins of Yin/Yang

The concepts around yin/yang developed around the 4th or 5th century BC and are associated with observing the laws and dynamics in nature as presented in the Tao Te Ching and attributed to Lao Tzu.1 Often taoism is called a religion, but is more correctly a philosophy oriented around abserving and living in harmony with the laws of nature.

Here is a passage elucidating yin/yang from the Tao Te Ching –

The Great Integrity expresses one.

The nautilus displays harmony of yin and yang.

One manifests as two.

Two is transformed into three.

And three generates all

the myriad entities of the universe.

Every entity always returns

to yin after engaging yang.

The fusion of these two opposites

births the Vital Energy

that sustains the harmony of life.

~ Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42

It’s All Yin & Yang

In nature all phenomena are an interplay between the characteristics called yin and yang. This dance between the principles of yin and yang helps us understand the big things – the big pictures in nature – and how the parts relate to the whole. The principle helps us understand the very small things – like particles and charges and elements and their natures and behaviors.

Keeping in mind the principles and behaviors of yin and yang helps us understand how we relate to and are interdependent with nature. To be in harmony with yin and yang we are by extension in harmony with the elements, the time, the place, day, week, month, season, and year, our thinking and feeling, our movement and rest, our breathing, drinking, and eating and in harmony with those around us.

Harmony of Yin & Yang

To be in harmony within ourselves and with our environment and others is to be in harmony with our body and mind – healthy and content.

Being in harmony with yin and yang is to have balance between things – not too hot or too cold, too tight or too loose, too bright or too dark, too high or too low…

Your nervous system has this harmony of yin and yang. A nerve is optimally healthy when it gets just the right amount of tone and stimulation. Too much or too little tone or stimulation of a nerve over time will cause it to degrade – transneuronal degeneration.

So, too your body chemistry. There has to be balance between the principles – between yin and yang. There has to be harmony between reduction and oxidation, anabolism and catabolism, polarization and depolarization, sympathetic and parasympathetic…

And, also, your mind and spirit – shen in traditional Chinese medicine. There must be a balance of focus and relaxation, speaking and being silent, moving and being still, going outward and being reflective…

Yin and yang – a binary model for matter, energy and biology.

Healing and Yin & Yang

When I do my work to understand and serve others toward their harmony and healing, I need to consider their balance and harmony of yin and yang. From this perspective, every phenomena in a human is neuron depolarization is a binary phenomenon, all cell membrane transport, all nerve action (depolarization and repolarization), cell oxidation and reduction, production and utililzation of every cell, every enzymatic reaction…all of these things are a dynamic between binary states – between yin and yang.

This is essentially the matrix model for energy, matter and biology. At some level, all things are binary – yin and yang.

So why is this important? Because understanding, using and developing mastery of this model gives you more leverage over your health and your life.

How do yin and yang relate to one another in terms of the very small and the very large? How do the models of the East and West translate between one another and relate to one another? How can we observe yin and yang objectively? In other words, how can we objectively measure yin and yang?

There are ways to be very objective about yin and yang. The principles seem abstract and, yet, the expression of these principles is very tangible. What is your blood pressure? The balance of your blood pressure is an expression of yin and yang and there must be harmony – balance – between yin and yang for you to be healthy.

How can you measure your yin and yang? How can you be a catalyst for restoring harmony to yin and yang?

Next, we will cover the principle of the three treasures, the model for measuring your balance and harmony of yin and yang and how to use these things to become more whole, robust and well.

References

1 My favorite translation of the Tao Te Ching is by Ralph Alan Dale.

 

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2 replies
    • Mark Force
      Mark Force says:

      Hi Shira!, A link to the Patient Resources PDF was included on the last weekly email. Look for it there. Best, Dr. Mark

      Reply

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