Yin and Yang - Bellingham Acupuncture - Yin and Yang Theory (2023)

The Natural World

The philosophical origins of Chinese medicine have grown out of the tenets of Taoism, the base of which arrives from observing the relationships and patterns of the natural world. Nothing was seen in isolation, or separate from, the intricate whole. No single being could exist unless it was seen in relation to its surrounding environment. By simplifying these relationships, they beautifully described complicated phenomena in the universe, including the human body, mind, and spirit.

It is therefore easy to understand why the Chinese medical system draws extensively on natural metaphors, which are based on observations of the interdependent phenomena of nature. These metaphors are fully articulated in the theory of “Yin-Yang” and the system of “Five Elements,” or “Five Phases.”

Yin and Yang - Bellingham Acupuncture - Yin and Yang Theory (1)

(Video) TCM Theory of Yin and Yang


Everything contains Yin and Yang, they are two opposite yet complementary principles. Although they are totally different—opposite—in their individual qualities and nature, they are interdependent. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other; they are never separate. For example, night and day form a Yin-Yang pair (night is Yin and day is Yang.) Night looks and is very different than day, yet it is impossible to have one without the other. Together they create a totality, a complete whole.

Yin Yang

Night Day

(Video) Yin Yang Theory by Dr. Wu, Chinese Medicine, AOMA

Dark Light

Cold Hot

Passive Active

Female Male

Blood Qi

Solid Hollow

Liver Gall Bladder

Heart Small Intestine

(Video) Yin Yang Theory, Zang Fu Theory (Fundamental of Acupuncture Episode 7)

Spleen Stomach

Lung Large Intestine

Kidney Urinary Bladder

Yin and Yang - Bellingham Acupuncture - Yin and Yang Theory (2)


Nothing is absolute within Yin and Yang theory; the designation of something as Yin or Yang is always relative to something else. For example, day is Yang, yet within every day is a Yang part—the early morning, and a Yin part—late day, as it begins to turn to night, which is Yin.

This indicates that there is a dynamic flow occurring that automatically and continuously balances and re-balances these principles. In the natural world this phenomenon is seen in the changing of the seasons: the cold of winter yields to the warmth of spring and summer heat, and then gradually turns cool in fall to become winter once again.

The Totality

The theory of Yin and Yang is fundamental to the practice of Chinese medicine in terms of understanding, diagnosing, and treating the totality of one’s health. At the most basic and deep level, Chinese medicine seeks to balance Yin and Yang in each person. The ancient Chinese medical text, the Nan Jing Su Wen, expressed the power and importance of Yin and Yang this way: “First, it must be determined whether the illness is yin or yang.”


Yin and Yang are the two principles that embody a universal law, which ensures that all things remain in harmony. As a deep and authentic healing system, Chinese medicine understands and applies Yin and Yang to help harmonize your body, mind, emotions, and spirit, and then harmonize your individual constitution and presentation with nature.

At Lotus Leaf Acupuncture & Wellness Center, our healing approach is to help you step back and look at where your daily habitual tendencies might actually be creating Yin and Yang imbalances that results in health issues for you. For most people, this is a process that happens over time. For some, it comes in a moment of great insight and healing.

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(Video) The Yin Yang Theory in Chinese Medicine

(Video) Acupuncture Health Tips : Yin & Yang Acupuncture Theories


What is yin and yang theory in acupuncture? ›

In traditional Chinese medicine, illness is believed to be caused by an imbalance of yin and yang in the body. In an excess of yin, the yang qi would be damaged, leading to the development of a cold disease. Excess of yang will likewise damage yin qi and lead to a heat disease being developed.

What are the 5 principles of yin and yang? ›

The Five Phases: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water

Yin and Yang define the universe as the interaction of polar opposite forces. The Five Phases theory further differentiates this dynamic into five stages of transformation.

What are the 4 principles of yin and yang? ›

Yin Yang theory is based on four principles: Opposition, Interdependence, Mutual Consumption, and Intertransformation. In Chinese medicine, all parts contribute to a whole (holistic view.) Yin and Yang is all about understanding one thing in relation to another.

Does acupuncture balance yin and yang? ›

Acupuncture, which is rooted in a 3,000 year-old Chinese tradition of yin and yang, is believed to cure diseases by re-establishing the 'energy balance' in organs when it goes awry.

What are the 3 concepts of yin-yang? ›

Despite the differences in the interpretation, application, and appropriation of yinyang, three basic themes underlie nearly all deployments of the concept in Chinese philosophy: (1) yinyang as the coherent fabric of nature and mind, exhibited in all existence, (2) yinyang as jiao (interaction) between the waxing and ...

What is the theory belief behind acupuncture? ›

Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. This, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

What is the 5 element theory acupuncture? ›

The tradition of Five Element acupuncture is based on the understanding of this cyclical flow of vital energy – also known as Qi. Each of the Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – represents a distinct quality of the Qi energy that is vital to the continual health and flow of nature.

What are the 4 stages of yin-yang? ›

In traditional medicine, Yin-Yang theory and five element theories are basic principle knowledge and important guidance in pathology, physiology, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Four pathological changes of Yin-Yang imbalance occur. There are Yang Excess, Yin Excess, Yang Deficiency and Yin Deficiency.

What is the 5 phase theory Chinese medicine? ›

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), five elements, or five phases, theory outlines the relationship between the different elements in nature and the life force, or "qi," that flows through them. The basic elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

How do you activate Yin and Yang energy? ›

EXERCISE. Daily gentle forms of exercise are encouraged to support both yin and yang energies to help bring them into balance. This can be Yin Yoga, Walking or Swimming. Just 15 minutes a day will contribute to rebalancing your chi.

How do you control Yin and Yang energy? ›

Ways To Balance Yin And Yang In Your Daily Life
  1. Forget about the narrative and focus on what works. ...
  2. The characteristics of Yin and Yang energies. ...
  3. Eliminate heavily processed foods from your diet. ...
  4. Invest in effective Feng Shui to balance the energies in your home. ...
  5. Keep track of your macro nutrient intake.
Oct 28, 2015

What is the yin-yang theory of health and illness? ›

Yin and yang are in constant flux. If one becomes unbalanced in the body, illness occurs. For example, since yin is cold, an excess of yin can cause illnesses such as insomnia and dry-mouth. Conversely, a yang deficiency can cause cold limbs and a sickly-complexion.

How do I know if my body is Yin or yang? ›

In terms of astrology, you are a Yang type if your birth chart is dominant in the fire and air signs. These are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius. You are a Yin type if your chart is made up of mostly earth and water.

What happens when yin and yang are out of balance? ›

If striking a balance of yin and yang energy is not achieved, then we have disharmony, which can lead to anxiety, lack of focus, worries about the future, depression, stress, and over or underweight, etc. Stress and illness are nature's way of telling you that you're out of balance.

What are the symptoms of yin-yang imbalance? ›

Symptoms of too much yang and not enough Yin are: feeling hot, restlessness, dry skin, scanty urination, constipation, and fast pulse. Symptoms of too much Yin and not enough Yang are: feeling cold, not thirsty, low energy, edema, frequent urination, looses stools, and slow pulse.

What are the 4 principles of Taoism? ›

These 4 Teachings of Daoism Will Help You Navigate Life
  • SIMPLICITY, PATIENCE, COMPASSION. “Simplicity, patience, compassion. ...
  • GOING WITH THE FLOW. “When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.” ...
  • LETTING GO. “If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. ...
Jan 30, 2018

What are the 3 main beliefs of Taoism? ›

Taoism philosophy is based on three pillars: simplicity, patience, and compassion. Lao Tzu said that these three principles are our greatest treasures. He further explained that by being simple in actions and in thoughts, you return to the source of being.

Is yin positive or negative? ›

In simple terms, yin is characterized as negative, passive, and feminine, among other things, whereas yang is seen as positive, active, and masculine, among other things.

What is the controversy with acupuncture? ›

One recurring theme of critics is that the concept of acupuncture points has no scientific validity. Meanwhile, the subject of whether-or-not acupuncture points “exist” has been given too little attention within the acupuncture research community.

What religion is acupuncture from? ›

Mental acupuncture implies that the Buddhism idea is considered in acupuncture. Secondly, the Buddhist medicine is the combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine. The needle box had become the necessity of the medical scholars in traveling.

Is there real science behind acupuncture? ›

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese technique that has been used for millennia to treat chronic pain and other health problems associated with inflammation, yet the scientific basis of the technique remains poorly understood.

What are the 8 principles of acupuncture? ›

Eight principles: excess (obstructed uterus/ren/chong vessels by pathogen, e.g. cold, heat, dampness/phlegm, qi stagnation, blood stasis); deficiency (kidney qi, yang, yin, essence).

What are the 6 Qi? ›

The Six Qi are tai yin (Dampness), yang ming (Dryness), shao yin (Heat), tai yang (Cold), jue yin (Wind/inwards movement) and shao yang (the light of Ministerial Fire/outwards movement). This climatic understanding is transferred to the human body and the physiological functions of the twelve main meridians.

What are the 4 sea points in acupuncture? ›

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the four seas are the sea of water and grain, sea of qi, sea of blood, and the sea of marrow. The four seas flow into the twelve main acupuncture channels and have a powerful effect on their related systems. When the four seas are functioning well, the human body is healthy.

Which part of Yin and Yang is female? ›

In traditional Chinese medicine, practiced for thousands of years, all things—both substances as well as processes—have yin and yang qualities. Yin is feminine, yang is masculine. Yin is cold and wet, yang is hot and dry.

Is Yin and Yang karma? ›

Yin and Yang are often thought of as polar opposites on a most basic level. But the concept of Yin and Yang goes much deeper. Yin and Yang also falls into the realm of quantum physics. It could be considered, like karma, an esoteric way of understanding the governing laws of the planet.

What is the most yin of the five elements? ›

Some elements nourish each other and some elements control each other. Water is the most yin for example. It's slow, dark, and cold. Fire is the most yang.

What are the 4 pillars of Chinese medicine? ›

A good practitioner should attempt to apply all four aspects of the Methods of Diagnosis — Observation ( Inspection), Auscultation and Olfaction, Palpation, and Inquiry — before drawing a conclusion.

What are the 5 elements of healing? ›

The virtues of each element are Wisdom, Listening (water), Benevolence (wood), Partnership, and Truth (fire), Thoughtfulness and Support (earth), and Respect (metal).

Does Chinese medicine believe in chakras? ›

Chakras are articulated within Chinese Medicine through the Three Treasures (energy): Generating (Jing), Vital (Qi) and Spirit (Shen). These as a cumulative whole represent the Dantians (chakras). These dantians are composed of upper, middle and lower centers.

What foods increase Yin? ›

Nuts and seeds: coconut (coconut oil, coconut milk, unsweetened fresh or dried coconut), sesame seeds and tahini, black sesame seeds, and walnut. Proteins: aduki beans, black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, mung beans, fish and seafood (except shrimp and prawns), beef, duck, goose, pork, rabbit, chicken and duck eggs.

What food is yin-yang balance? ›

Foods that are thought to contain a harmonious balance of yin and yang are: whole grains, cereals and millets — brown rice, oats, rye, buckwheat, whole wheat; fresh fruits; nuts and seeds; vegetables and pulses.

What are the symptoms of Yang Qi deficiency? ›

Low libido and general motivation. Lower backache, sometimes accompanied by pain in the knees and legs, which feels worse in the cold weather. Often, there is diarrhoea and lower back pain just before or at the beginning of the period. Dysmenorrhea can occur if the Yang is insufficient to 'drive' the blood flow.

What are yang energy foods? ›

Duck and beef, warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, alcohol, nuts such as almonds and peanuts, eggs and glutinous rice are considered yang foods. Yin foods are generally bitter, salty and sour, while yang foods are generally sweet and pungent.

How do you activate your yang? ›

Invite life energy: Yang vibes are generated in the presence of living beings and natural elements like flowing water features and tall plants. Alternatively, you can move appliances and electrical devises to your living room as noise, movement and heat; all set the atmosphere for enhancing yang energies.

What are the powers of yin-yang? ›

Yin/Yang: Two halves that mutually form the wholeness of Qi. The mixing of the two energies makes life possible. When life-force energy is appropriately balanced between Yin and Yang, it flows smoothly maintaining and promoting a good state of physical and emotional health.

What is the truth about yin and yang? ›

The ubiquitous yin-yang symbol holds its roots in Taoism/Daoism, a Chinese religion and philosophy. The yin, the dark swirl, is associated with shadows, femininity, and the trough of a wave; the yang, the light swirl, represents brightness, passion and growth.

What is the role of yin and yang in the body? ›

Yin/Yang: Two halves that mutually form the wholeness of Qi. The mixing of the two energies makes life possible. When life-force energy is appropriately balanced between Yin and Yang, it flows smoothly maintaining and promoting a good state of physical and emotional health.

What is yin and yang hot and cold theory? ›

Yin-Yang theory in food

Chinese medicine defines the energy of food as hot, cold, warm, cool, and neutral. Hot and warm foods are Yang foods while cool and cold foods are Yin foods. It is the same definition as our body constitution.

What are the symptoms of too much yin energy? ›

Excess Yin results in cold hands and feet, lethargy, poor blood circulation, and pale complexions. Exterior and Interior pattern pairing indicates the location of the imbalance, but not the reason behind it. An exterior pattern refers to external factors such as hot weather, cold winds that influence the body.

Is yin-yang hot or cold in principles of acupuncture? ›

Generally speaking, yin is Cold. 2. Yang: Yang, along with yin is used to describe the relationship between the other three pairs of the Principles. For example, Heat is Yang.

What is yin and yang in psychology? ›

In terms of the interpretation of Taiji and Yin and Yang by Confucianism and Taoism, Taoism attaches importance to Yin, believing that Yin represents the law of nature and Yang represents the activities of people in pursuit of fame, wealth, and individual desires.


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