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Since time immemorial, the study of nature and understanding of different concept as they relate to human beings and the environment in which they are staying has been a common feature. Many people used to and are still studying all issues related to life and how they affect their existence. People searched for appropriate means through which they can solve problems affecting them. Just like any other people across the world, not only during ancient times, but even currently, Chinese people had different theories and concepts. Yin and Yang is one of these most fundamental concepts among ancient Chinese people. It was applied in nearly all daily activities. Yin and Yang is highly valued among Chinese as it is applicable in many aspects of their lives. However, there has been concern of late in regard to what actually Yin and Yang is and how it is used in certain practices. It is therefore, due to this fact that this study is aimed at analyzing how Yin and Yang is used in 3 specific practices.
The idea of Yin and Yang originated in ancient Chinese attitude and metaphysics which explains two primordial but opposite forces obtained in all things in the world. Yin- the darker element is inert, dark, down-seeking, masculine, and corresponds to the day; Yang- the brighter element, is lively, masculine, downward-seeking, light, and corresponds to the day. While Yang is usually denoted by fire, Yin is denoted by water (Aung & Chen 56). Most likely, the pair goes back to ancient agrarian religion which existed in Confucianism, and well-known in Taoism. The book Tao Te Ching is laden with instances and explanations of the concept of mutual arising even though the words Yin and Yang appeared once in this book.
Yin and Yang are explanations of complementary opposites other than absolutes. Any Yin/Yang dichotomy can be viewed as its opposite when observed from a different perspective. The classification is viewed as one of the expediency (Aung & Chen 67). In nature, nearly all forces can be split down into their respective Yin and Yang states, and the two are normally in progress other than being held in total stasis. Yin and Yang is being used in numerous practices as described below.
Use of Yin and Yang in Clinical Treatment
According to Aung & Chen (88), treatment ought to readjust Yin and Yang to their basic state of relative balance due to the fact that imbalance and fluctuation of Yin and yang are viewed to be the basic causative factors of disease occurrence and development. For instance, pathogenic heat- a Yang disease causal factor- consumes the Yin fluid if it is overabundant and affects the superabundant Yang of the body. In this circumstance, the cold methods for heat syndromes are the recommended treatment. Pathogenic cold on the other hand will damage the Yang qi and put forth influence on the body’s remaining Yin. In this circumstance, the heat method for cold syndrome is used. On the other hand, in a situation where Yang excess if results from insufficient Yin fluid failing to control Yang or where Yin prevalence result from inability of Yang qi to control Yin, then treatment is supposed to strengthen the deficient Yin or Yang. Hence, the main idea is that you ought to treat Yang for Yin diseases, and treat Yin for Yang diseases.
The concept of Yin and Yang is not only used in medical treatment to decide the principles of treatment, but also used generally to the characteristics, flavor and action of Chinese herbal medicine as a direct to the clinical administration of herbs. For instance, drugs with cold, moist or cool characteristics are categorized as Yin while those with the opposite characteristics are categorized as Yang. Similarly, herbs with sour, bitter, or salty flavors are Yin while those with pungent, sweet, or insipid flavors are Yang (Aung & Chen 134). Drugs with a severe or downward action are Yin while those with an upward and diffusing action are Yang. We are therefore supposed to decide in clinical treatment the principle of treatment based on an analysis of the Yin and Yang conditions available in terms of their difference Ying-Yang characteristics and actions. Restoration of healthy Yin-Yang characteristics and actions is the main objective of clinical treatment. It is aimed at restoring a healthy Yin-Yang balance in the patients.
Use of Yin and Yang to Explain the Tissues and Structures of the Human Body
Alphen & Aris (73) assert that it is viewed that contradictory but unitive phenomena between Yin and Yang is present between rostral and caudal, inside and outside, exterior and interior, dorsal and ventral aspects of every tissue and structure of the human body, this is in accordance to the theory of Yin and Yang. The upper part of the body is yang while the lower part is Yin, the exterior is Yang and the interior is Yin, the back is Yang and the abdomen is Yin, the lateral side of the edges is Yang while the medial aspect is Yin when talking of Yin and Yang in the human body. On the other hand, the five viscera including the heart, spleen, kidney, liver and lung are Yin, due to the fact that their roles of preserving very important substance tend to be stable while the six bowel organs including the gallbladder, urinary balder, small intestines, large intestine, and triple warmer are Yang due to the fact that their role of transmitting and digesting water and food tend to be active, this is when talking of Yin and Yan of the internal organs in the body.
Among the viscera, the relationship between Yin and Yang still remains to be constant. The heart and lung are Yang due to the fact that they are higher whereas the liver, kidney and spleen are Yin because of being lower. The function is Yang while the substance is Yin when talking of Yin and Yang of every organ. The channel might be separated into channels that belong to Yin and ones that belong to Yang when talking of Yin and Yang of the channels and collaterals (Alphen & Aris 97). Similarly, collaterals can also be grouped as Yin collaterals and Yang collaterals. Three channels are Yang channels of the hand and three Yin channels of the hand, three Yang channels of the foot and three Yin channels of the foot are the 12 channels when talking of Yin and Yang of the twelve channels. As to the vital energy and blood, vital energy (qi) is Yang while blood is Yin.
Use of Yin and Yang in Diagnosis of Diseases
An imbalance between Yin and Yang is the basic causal factor of disease. Thus, causal factors can still be summarized into two groups- Yin syndromes and Yang syndromes- regardless how complicated and unpredictable the clinical manifestations are. An accurate diagnosis relies on a lucid categorization of Yin and yang syndromes, in short, “If one is good at diagnosis, they should distinguish yin from Yang after color observation- color of tongue, complexion, stool, urine, among others- and feel the pulse, this is in accordance to Suwen (Alphen & Aris 168). The four diagnosis methods- inspection, inquiry, auscultation and olfaction, and palpation- also use Yin and Yang. For instance, interior xu (deficiency) and cold syndromes are viewed as Yin, while a sonorous voice indicates Yang, a low voice is Yin, feeble and weak respiration is Yin, coarse breathing is Yang, superficial, faster, and forceful pulses are Yang while slow, deep feeble and weak pulses are Yin.
In brief, Yin and Yang is one of the most significant aspects in our daily lives and activities. This is due to its increased use and significance. Yin and Yang is applicable in nearly everything including diseases, eating habits, protection and defense, among many others. It is therefore, imperative for all of us to make close study of Yin and Yang and incorporate it in our daily activities so as to help improve our living conditions and ensure safe and healthy living environment surrounding us.