Yin + Yang + You
written by Emily Peters, LMT
What does the Yin + Yang Theory have to do with your health? It’s a simple thing that western medicine calls homeostasis. You see, our bodies are perfect. Yes! Perfect. When given all the things they need, they are balanced and healthy. The things our bodies need include nutrients and minerals from food and water, and healthy mental, emotional and spiritual interaction and stimulation.
The Yin + Yang qualities in each of us are in constant motion; constantly seeking balance and homeostasis from the things we put in it, from the things we surround ourselves with, and from the things we refrain from putting in and around ourselves.
For instance, let’s assume you woke up this morning in complete balance. Everything - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – is healthy at this point. Then a siren sounds outside, which stimulates your heart rate to increase a bit. Perhaps the siren triggers some thoughts about safety and the state of society’s constructs. Maybe these effects are imperceptible, but they are there, and they are creating real chemical reactions in your physical body. You dismiss the siren to go eat a hurried breakfast of coffee and toast. By the time you get to work your body has been stimulated in a variety of ways: The siren, the caffeine in the coffee, the quick sugar of the toast’s carbohydrates, and the urgency of rushing. You and your body are now in a state of stress, or as Eastern medicine explains, you’re experiencing an excess of Yang. At this point, your body may give you unpleasant signals about the imbalance in your lifestyle. Perhaps you notice at this point that your neck and shoulders are a bit stiff, maybe you feel drained or cranky, or maybe your stomach is a upset.
A little bit of Yang can be a fantastic thing, but when stimulation is prolonged or excessive or out of balance, and Yin (rest, relaxation, calming foods and herbs, etc.) is deficient, it can manifest as some pretty concerning health problems. Negative stressors – excess Yang – can result in Heart attack, various forms of emotional instability, ulcers, digestive discomforts and diseases, and even colds and flus.
In eastern medicine viruses and bacteria certainly exist, but the focus of diagnosis and treatment is on the imbalance that caused the body to be an ideal environment in which the virus or bacteria thrives. Since everything is connected, and nothing can exist in isolation, the entire human being is considered in diagnosis. If you as a complete person are in complete balance physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, then you can only be healthy. When the Yin and Yang within your body, mind and spirit are in harmony, health is just a given. Because your body is perfect!