This article was published Hedra News January 2016
Yin and Yang are at the root of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The interactions between Yin and Yang can be used to explain every living thing in the Universe. Yin stands for the night, darkness, feminine, interior, cold, and winter. Yang is daylight, bright, masculine, exterior, warmth, and summer. While each stands for separate things, they intermix with each other, rarely standing alone as pure yin or pure yang. Keeping this view in mind we will look at what this means for our health.
Here is a list of the common imbalances we see at BAC. It’s always best to see a Licensed Acupuncturist about your health concerns, since these conditions are complicated and often accompanied by other symptoms.
Examples of yin imbalance:
1) Menopause – Yin is the cooling aspect, think of it like your antifreeze, once you run low, things start to heat up internally. This causes hot flashes, sweating, and irritability to list a few. Around middle age many of our patients don't have enough yin - the symptoms of menopause are a way for your body to tell you something is out of whack.
While typical treatment involves replacing hormone deficiencies, acupuncture and herbs are extremely helpful at getting to the root of the issue. You need to refill your antifreeze and the best way to do that is to fill up with herbs & dark leafy greens, and avoid/limit caffeine, tobacco & alcohol that deplete yin. It is also important to keep moving; acupuncture helps with this and you can support treatments by getting gentle daily exercise. Daily meditation to calm your nerves and consistent sleep is important too.
Insomnia – Night time is yin. When there is an imbalance at night it’s a yin problem. There are several components sleep issues, but at the root, they are a yin imbalance.
Similar to menopause, there are basic treatment principles for strengthening a person’s yin. Increase yin activities (meditation, gentle exercise, eating nourishing foods) to decrease stress and quiet the mind. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Again, acupuncture and herbs can support healthy sleep cycles.
Examples of yang imbalance
1) High Blood Pressure – The action of blood pressure and energy of the body rising or going up, is a yang action.
Typically in this type of yang imbalance we are focusing on rooting the yang and bringing it downward. Usually we are calming stress, and again using the same yin principles from above, but adding a bit more to drain some yang since this type of imbalance is an excessive one. Often caused by excess in diet & lifestyle, and a lack of exercise needed to move stagnation and root the body.
2) Infertility – Ovulation, progesterone, and the second half of the menstrual cycle are all considered yang, and are treated by balancing the yang. Much of male fertility, including testosterone is yang.
Fertility is successfully treated with acupuncture and herbs. It’s a case by case deal and you can expect 1-3 months of regular treatments before balance is achieved. There are specific treatment principles for each individual fertility condition.
Too much of a good thing, really is not a good thing-
A while back an article was going around about the health benefits of coffee. One commonly known benefit is that coffee stimulates intestinal cramping and bowel movements. This can be helpful for constipation, but coffee is a stimulant and in the TCM world that makes it warming (increases yang). If you already have too much yang in your body, or too little yin (imagine adding more heat when your coolant is already low) this will only cause more trouble.
Adding your regularly programed acupuncture induced nap into your busy lifestyle-
Balancing it all can be exhausting. Resting while getting some serious self care done during your acupuncture session will give you a well deserved boost. Start by making an appointment. After talking with your acupuncturist they will tell you how often you need treatments to reach your intended goal. Most likely you will need weekly treatments to start.
Schedule your following appointments before you leave so it can easily become part of your routine. If you forgot your schedule at home and are one of the few people left in this world without a smartphone (just kidding, no judgement here) you can make your appointments online from home anytime.
Acupuncture is a complete medicine, with it’s own strengths and weaknesses. Using it to treat issues that arise during times of change, helping support the immune system, improving quality of life, and bringing balance to your body are all very powerful and successfully treated. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Try acupuncture to discover how it will help you.