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Living in Balance
By Peter Games, L. Ac.

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Acupuncture & Alternative Medicine in Boise - Exercise (Bicycling)It is important to understand that Yin and Yang are relative terms. So, based upon the definition above, it may seem appropriate to describe the city of Phoenix, Arizona as Yang, but that wouldn’t be accurate. It would, however, be correct to say that Phoenix is Yang in comparison to Seattle, Washington. We need to make this distinction because Phoenix could also be described as Yin in comparison to the sun. It is ambiguous to describe anything as solely Yin or Yang unless it is explicitly or implicitly compared to something else.

The human body contains both Yin and Yang energy in some degree of balance, as do all parts of the human body. Each of the organ systems must be in balance for the whole body to be in balance. Yin energy is the body’s cooling system and is responsible for keeping the body from overheating. Conversely, Yang energy is the body’s warming system and is responsible for keeping the body from getting too cold. These two entities must be appropriately balanced to maintain the proper body temperature. An individual may experience heat due to too much warm Yang energy or not enough cooling Yin energy. This heat may manifest in many ways, some of which include dry throat, strong thirst, constipation, red complexion, red eyes, headaches, hot flashes, night sweats, fever, mania, or delirium.

Boise Acupuncture & Alternative Medicine - MeditationIt is the responsibility of the Chinese medicine practitioner to determine the condition of a patient’s Yin and Yang and to bring these two entities into balance. Let’s consider the case of a menopausal woman experiencing hot flashes and night sweats. More often than not, hot flashes and night sweats indicate a lack of Yin. In this case, the treatment principle would focus on building Yin, which is accomplished with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. As the cooling Yin aspects of the body are increased and Yin is brought into balance with Yang, the typical signs and symptoms of menopause subside.

Chinese medical philosophy is based upon achieving and maintaining balance in every aspect of our lives. Too much of any one thing is considered an undesirable imbalance. The more that we are able to recognize the value and elegant simplicity of a balanced approach, the more we will readily incorporate it into our own lives and reap the benefits of doing so.

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