Yin and Yang

The original meaning of the Chinese ideogram for “Yin” is “the shady side of a hill”. It represents darkness and passivity, and is associated with the qualities of yielding, softness and contraction. It moves downward and inward, and its primary symbol are woman, water and earth. “Yang” means ” the sunny side of the hill” represents light and activity, is associated with resistance, hardness and expansion, moves naturally upward and downward, and is symbolised by man, fire and heaven.
Yin and Yang are mutually interdependent, constantly interactive and potentially interchangeable forces. Yin is stronger and more abundant than Yang, but Yang is more obvious and active, there is more water in earth than fire, for example, but fire phenomena such as lighting are more exciting and attract more attention.
Complementary coupling of Yin and Yang pervade the entire universe, and their elemental opposition provides the dynamic tension required for all movement and change.
In Chinese medicine, the ten vital organs are divided in five pairs(linked by concrete functional and anatomical conections), each consisting of one “solid” Yin organ and one “hollow” Yang organ. The Yin organs are more vital than the Yangs, any dysfunction of Yin organs cause the greatest health problems. Yin controls internal surfaces, lower regions, front parts, both on the body as a whole and on each individual organ, while Yang governs energy.
Heart-“Chief of the Vital Organs”-regulates other organs by controlling circulation of blood. It houses spirit and governs moods and mental clarity. The condition of the heart-energy is reflected in the colour of the face and tongue: dark indicates excess, pale grey indicates deficiency. The heart is paired with the small intestine which separates the pure from impure by digestion, controls the ratio of liquids to solid wastes, absorbs nutrients with it than sends to the heart for circulation throughout the body.
Liver – The liver stores and enriched blood and regulates the amount released into the blood stream for general circulation. “When man moves, blood moves; when man is still, blood returns to the liver”, states the Yellow Emperor’s Classic. The liver is the body’s headquarters, and therefore, it is the most directly responsible for a person’s overall senses of well-being and vitality. Liver conditions are reflected in the eyes, fingernails, toenails and muscle. The liver’s Yang partner is the gallbladder, whose intimate functional relationship with the liver is well organised by Western medicine.
Pancreas- The pancreas controls production of vital enzymes needed for digestion and metabolism. This function links it directly with its paired Yang partner, the stomach. If the pancreas fails to produce sufficient enzymes, digestion in the stomach stagnates, causing food to ferment and putrefy instead of digest. The pancreas controls the human attribute of rational thoughts. Its dysfunction is reflected by emaciation of the skin, flesh and limbs, poor muscle tone, chronic fatigue,stagnant digestion and inability to concentrate.
Lungs – “Lungs control qi(chee)”, state Chinese medical tests. Since qi, means breath as well as energy, the lungs govern both breathing and energy circulation. When breath is deficient, so is energy. The Yin lungs are associated with the Yang large intestine. Lungs conditions are reflected in the skin, for the skin itself being a respiratory organ, and both the lungs and the large intestine are actually internal extensions of the skin, one pushed down from the top and the up from the bottom. Pneumonia and other severe respiratory problems are generally accompanied by constipation, and constipation usually causes distension and discomfort in the chest.
Kidney – “The kidneys control water”. Excess water and waste fluids are sent to the kidneys and converted into urine, then passed down to the bladder for excretion. Thus the bladder is functionally linked to the kidney as their hollow yang partner. the kidney are called “Gate of Life” because control the overall balance of vital fluids in the body, which turns directly influences energy level and balance.They are the major balancers of Yin and Yang in the human system.The dysfunction is often indicated by lower back pains and the inability to straighten the spine. They are closely connected with the adrenal cortex(suprarenal glands), which straddle them and secrete cortisone, adrenaline and vital sex hormone into the blood stream. The kidney and their related glands, control sexual function and potency.
                                                                                                                                                                                      The Tao of Health, Daniel Reid.

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