Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Yin and Yang Theory

Maria Teresa De Donato, PhD, RND, CNC, CMH, CHom

I believe that nothing and nobody could have ever expressed the concept of duality better than the Chinese philosophical Theory of Yin and Yang. The latter, in fact, well describes how diametrically opposed forces are not only contrary to each other but have also the ability and potential to harmoniously complement one another and create perfection.

Disciplines such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC), martial arts and Feng Shui are all deeply rooted in the understanding and acknowledgment that all relates to Yin and Yang and that the latter are not only different in their essence but also do complete one another as parts of the Oneness, hence, of the Tao, which is “the path”, “the way” that according to traditional Chinese philosophy Man should walk in order to feel in perfect balance within himself and with the Universe.

Laozi, also known as Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher and poet, summarized this profound concept by stating “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

By being seen as complementary forces rather than opposing ones, Yin and Yang produce a dynamic system in which the whole is greater that the sum of its parts. Everything is, therefore, perceived as having both yin and yang elements which may manifest at a different level or in a different amount, this producing different results.

So, what is really Yin and what is Yang and what they represent in the end?

Yin represents all negative, passive, female principles existing in Nature, while Yang all positive, active, male ones. Hence - just to cite a few examples - the moon is Yin while the sun is Yang; passivity, weakness and all that relates or is somewhat linked to a slower tempo are Yin, while activity, dynamic actions and strength are associated with Yang.

A summary of the differences between Yin and Yang can be illustrated as in the following Table:

In the articles of the next few months we will examine how the Theory of Yin and Yang is applied to nutrition and health according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, and how beneficial it can be to promote and maintain a state of health, wellness, harmony and balance according to Feng Shui.

STAY TUNED!!! The best is yet to come!