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Yin and Yang

The concept of Yin and Yang, is yet another aspect of Oriental philosophy used to explain the Universe, and its constant fluctuations and changes, and thus it is also applied to Chinese Medicine and just as much to Shiatsu.

Yin and Yang are the ultimate illustration of harmony and balance. In the illustration you can see a symbol, known to so many, but truly understood by relatively few.

The dark part of the symbol represents the Yin and the light part represents the Yang

* Yin and Yang are equal in size and proportion thus representing balance. Where there is more of one - there is less of the other. At their extremes one becomes the other.

* Not Yin nor Yang are completely solid in their color: within Yin there is Yang, and within Yang there is Yin, in other words there is no absolute Yin nor absolute Yang. There is neither absolute day nor absolute night. Just like the night turns gradually into a day at dawn, the day turns gradually into night, with the sunset.

*There is a curved line dividing the Yin and the Yang. The curvature signifies MOVEMENT, and the constant flow of the one into the other.This movement represents our LIFE.

*Yin is the ultimate opposite of Yang, yet the two are interdependent and one can not exist without the other.

*The circle around the Yin and Yang emphasizes the no- beginning and no- end of nature, and QI.

To clarify Yin and Yang philosophy even more, let's use a few examples:

Yin is Earth, Matter, Night, Darkness, Cold, Winter, Inferior, Feminine, Chronic, Weak. Yang is: Heaven, Energy, Day, Light, Hot, Summer, Superior, Masculine, Acute, Active Yin and Yang, being part of life itself, represent also our organs and their functions

The Yin organs are the ones filled with blood (with the exception of the Lungs, which are surrounded with blood): Lungs, Spleen, Kidney, Heart and Liver.They are very essential, and their removal without replacement leads to death.

The Yang organs are full of Qi. Qi changes constantly, thus the Yang organs are sometimes more full, or less full (more empty). These organs play crucial role in our digestion, however, their partial removal will possibly not endanger the life immediately. These organs are: Stomach, Small intestine, Large intestine, Blader and Gallblader.

The Yin organs and the Yang organs are related through the similar type of function:
Lung(yin) and Large Intestine (yang): immune system & purification.
Heart Governor (yin) and Tripple Heater (yang) : liquids and heat distribution.
Spleen(yin) and Stomach(yang) :storage.
Kidney(yin) and Blader(yang): purification.
Heart(yin) and Small intestine(yang); blood quality.
Liver(yin) and Gallblader (yang) : energy distribution.

Yin and Yang theory, and terminology, along with other theories such as the Five Elements theory (on which I will not elaborate here), are used in Shiatsu to describe the condition of the patient. These theories are used in Chinese Traditional Medicine as well as in Shiatsu to describe relative conditions and types of Excess or Deficiency of Qi along with the Koyo and Jitsu terms. Yin and Yang are also important guidelines to the understanding of Oriental concepts of diseases, their causes and symptoms.

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