According to oriental philosophy, there are two types of basic
opposing principals, Yin-Yang, that regulate
the Universe and all phenomena are created by their continuous
a miniature universe, a microcosmos or “small world” of the
macrocosmos. Being an integral part of the whole, he is subject to the
same cosmic laws. As the whole order of the Universe results from the
perfect balance between the two forces Yin and Yang, so does the
health of man.
medicine has successfully followed the principles of Yin and Yang to
restore balance in the human body for approximately four thousand
years. There are many similarities between ancient Chinese medicine
and Ayurvedic medicine partly due to the influence of Buddhism on
both. Like Ayurveda, prevention of disease is central to the Chinese
system of medicine. Maintaining optimum health requires that 'chi' or
'qi' ( the equivalent of 'prana') flows properly along the body’s
internal energy meridians. Proper flow can only be achieved if the
body’s opposing principles of Yin and Yang are balanced.
energy, or 'life force' circulates freely through a healthy body, but
is blocked in an unhealthy body, causing illness. Chi energy becomes
blocked when one has an improper diet combined with extreme weather
conditions (hot or cold). Since people tend to have either a Yin
constitution (passive, cool) or a Yang constitution (active, hot),
sickness occurs when someone overindulges in the wrong foods,
underindulges in the right foods and eats foods which might be good
for someone else or for a different climate, but not for their
particular physiological make-up.
differ in their physical, mental, spiritual and emotional effects and
can be divided into three main types -those that are 'balanced' and
some that are 'Yin' and some that are 'Yang'. Yin foods are cooling,
while Yang foods are warming to the human system. Together, Yin and
Yang combined in balance produce an equalization that translates into
health for living creatures.
(such as aspirin)
Tropical vegetables and fruits
Most food additives of a chemical nature.
Temperate fruits (such as apples and pears)
terms of the body, the front is considered Yin and the back Yang. The
upper part of the body is considered more Yang than the lower part;
the outer parts of the body (skin, hair, etc.) are more Yang than the
inner Organs. The Yin and Yang of the body are often described
metaphorically as the body's Water and Fire. Illnesses that are
characterized by weakness, slowness, coldness and underactivity are
Yin; illnesses that manifest strength, forceful movements, heat and
overactivity are Yang.
organs are responsible for producing, circulating and storing the
fundamental energy in the body, the Chi. These organs are more
internal than the Yang organs.
body's Yin organs are:
heart is one of the most important organs in the body and circulates
the blood and stores the human spirit. When the human spirit is
properly nourished, it is in harmony with its surroundings and is
happy. When the heart cannot sustain the spirit, the spirit becomes
irrational, unfocused and unglued. The tongue and face are closely
related to the heart and, hence, many diseases of the blood and heart
can be diagnosed by examining the tongue and face.
lungs are very important for the overall health of the body because
they mix the Chi and blood and regulate the Chi of the entire body.
The Chi of the outside world meets the Chi of the human body in the
lungs and from there it is spread throughout the body. The health of
the lungs manifests itself in the body hair and sweat glands as well
as the overall bodily health.
little known organ is vital in Chinese medicine. It transforms food
into blood and Chi and regulates the digestion. Indeed, in Chinese
medicine it is considered the very foundation of life. It governs the
muscles, flesh and limbs. Weak limbs may indicate a problems with the
spleen. The mouth and lips are also closely related to the spleen as
is the sense of taste.
liver is responsible for the smooth movement of the blood, bodily
substances and, in general, of the Chi throughout the body. Liver
diseases are readily apparent through the eyes and the vision and,
therefore, many eye and vision difficulties can be treated by treating
the liver. Malfunctioning of the liver can also manifest itself in
emotional turmoil or digestion difficulties.
kidneys are responsible for regulating the flow of water and fluids
within the body as well as for strong teeth and bones. Malfunctioning
of the kidney is particularly manifested through the ears. Thus
hearing problems can be a symptom of kidney problems.
Yang organs are responsible for taking in food, absorbing nutrients
and discarding the excess, unusable by products. These organs are more
external than the Yin organs.
body's Yang organs are:
gall bladder secretes bile, an important part of the digestive
process. Bile is produced by the liver, thus the liver and gall
bladder are mutually dependent upon each other. The gall bladder rules
the decision making process. Hastily made decisions or those made in
anger are thus a sign of too much Chi in the gall bladder. Conversely,
the inability to make a decision or timidity can be a sign of a lack
of gall bladder Chi.
stomach is responsible for receiving and breaking down food into its
component parts. The "pure" and useful components of food
are sent to the spleen and transformed into Chi whereas the
"impure" parts are sent to the small intestine.
Malfunctioning of the stomach results in vomiting, nausea or belching.
small intestine receives digested food from the stomach and then
further refines it. It removes the remaining "pure"
substances and sends them to the spleen. The impurities are sent to
the large intestine. Disorders of the small intestine are manifested
by abdominal pain, stomach growling and diarrhea or constipation.
large intestine finishes the work of the small intestine and the
stomach and remove the final "pure" substances and sends
them to the spleen, eliminating the rest. Like the small intestine.
Disharmonies of the large intestine are evidenced by abdominal pain,
stomach growling and diarrhea or constipation.
bladder secretes urine, removing the final impurities distilled from
the kidneys, from fluids received from the small and large intestines
and the lungs. Bladder disorders result in painful urination or
triple burner is not an organ with a particular location, but is the
relationship between the water organs -particularly the lungs, spleen,
kidneys, small intestine and bladder. The triple burner is required to
regulate the flow of water throughout the body. The body itself is
divided into "burners": The upper burner is the
"mist" -that is the head and chest, as well as the heart and
lungs. The middle burner is the "foam" - the area of the
body below the chest but above the navel, such as the stomach and
spleen, that churns away at food. The lower burner is the
"swamp" -the area below the navel, including the kidneys,
small and large intestines and bladder which remove impure substances
from the body.
energy often becomes stopped at the stomach, which is considered the
seat of the 'triple heater' (heart, lungs, stomach). An example of
this is a condition known as 'cold stomach, which may arise if a Yin
person eats cold Yin food in a cold climate. The Yin person will
experience chronic fatigue symptoms as a result of consuming damp-
producing foods such as oranges, tropical fruits and dairy products,
which in effect paralyze the stomach. Digestion is difficult and
combined with cold weather, this diet is disastrous for the Yin
person's health, all because Chi energy is blocked at the stomach and
their 'heater' can't fire up. Another example of this is when a Yang
person consumes heat producing foods (refined sugar, red meat, etc.)
in a hot environment -he/she will suffer from too much heat in the
body, too much Chi energy which must concentrate and exit from the
head. The Yang person is too hot inside and out and will suffer
who have a Yin body type (low blood pressure, cold feet, easily
chilled) should eat warming, spicy foods like garlic, cayenne, ginger,
grains, legumes, roots and tubers, which are Yang. They should avoid
cooling, damp- producing foods like tropical fruits and dairy
products, which are Yin. Yang people (warm, high blood pressure)
should eat all fruits, lots of green, leafy vegetables and avoid heavy
meats. Of course, abstention from all meat (except fish), all dairy,
sugar, caffeine and alcohol is advised for both Yin and Yang people.