Yin Yang – The Opposite Forces
Yin and Yang are general terms that are used in the East to describe opposite poles of one and the same natural phenomenon. Although they exist in clear opposition of each other, they also depend on each other, as the one embraces the other. In fact, together they mean both unity and opposition, which is also a given in Yin/Yang.
Yin and Yang appear in nature as each other’s opposite poles like heaven and earth, water and fire, light and darkness etc. and also as two different aspects of one and the same phenomenon, such as qi and blood, yang meridians in the body.
The original meaning of Yin and Yang is linked to the light; the sunny side and the shadow side of for example, a mountain. In that case, the sunny side is Yang and the shadow side is Yin, Later on, the meaning was extended to all kinds of contrasts, such as cold versus warm weather, upward versus downward directions, left versus right, inside versus outside….
In acupuncture, all these terms are practically applied in a health discipline.
Shen Nung, who was a father of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) proposed that through every living body, a fundamental energy flows, he calls Qi (pronounced as “Chi””). This Qi encompasses all essential activities of life, whether these are spiritual, emotional, mental or physical in nature.
According to the TCM, someone’s health depends on the flows of Qi in his body, according to universal natural principles of Yin and Yang. When a Qi flow has been disturbed, is insufficiently strong or is no longer in balance, then Yin and Yang are out of balance, which causes disease symptoms. Qi flows through specific meridians that are paired two by two on both sides of the body. They represent the energy of our different vital organs.
In acupuncture, the points that are punctured with very fine needles are specific points where the meridians come more to the surface, and are thus more accessible for external stimulation. Also manual acupressure, moxibustion and cupping are applied to these points to restore harmony and communication in the different meridians, to guarantee the Qi-flow and to achieve the overall Yin-Yang balance.
In China, TCM has been used with success for thousands of years. The reputation of a Chines doctor was traditionally determined by his knowledge to prevent disease in his patients. If any of them became ill, his reputation was damaged. In the West, we can trace back the use of acupuncture to several hundreds of years, but it is mainly since the second half of the twentieth century that it started to spread through Western Europe, the United States of America and Canada.
The (modern) medical world does not agree with one voice about TCM as it has difficulty to prove scientifically how acupuncture works exactly. Just as Yin and Yang are sometimes indefinable terms as they are both infinite at the same time, opposite and encompassing everything. .