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The Role of Yin and Yang in Acupuncture

yin yang acupuncture

Balancing Yin and Yang in Everyday Life

Keeping your yin and yang in balance is easy when you keep these things in mind:

  • Healthy Foods Are Best. Did you know that foods have energy too? Cool foods are yin, while warm and hot foods are yang. Choosing healthy, non-processed foods and ensuring that every meal features both yin and yang can help you avoid imbalances that can make you feel lethargic or depressed or even increase your risk of developing infections.
  • Meditation Improves Harmony. Stress can also cause an imbalance in yin and yang. Meditation or any other activity that reduces your stress level will help you avoid headaches, stomach upset and other stress-related symptoms.
  • Exercise Is a Must. Exercising not only helps your heart and strengthens your muscles, but is also essential in preventing disharmony. Just make sure you do not overdo it, as overexertion can lead to a surplus of yang. It's best to include both yin and yang activities in your workout, such as balancing a run with stretching exercises.

Yin and Yang are important concepts at the core of acupuncture treatment. Yin/Yang imbalances can cause many physical ailments ranging from poor circulation to headaches to gastrointestinal problems.

What are Yin and Yang?

Yin and Yang are manifestations of Qi, the life force that runs through your body. When Qi becomes blocked at some point in your body, pain and other physical symptoms can occur. Freeing the blockages with carefully placed acupuncture needles helps balance Yin and Yang.

Yin and Yang are opposite forces that balance each other. Yang is generally warm, creative and active, while yin is colder and nurturing. Although yin meant moon and yang meant sun originally, the concept of yin and yang has expanded to included many opposite states, places and conditions. Yin is earth, while yang is heaven. Yang is male and yin is female.

Everything contains both yin and yang. For example, a sunny day is the classic example of yang, but where there is sun, there are also shadows (yin). Ensuring that either yin or yang does not become dominant is important in maintaining good health.

What Role Does Yin and Yang Theory Play in Acupuncture?

Before your treatment begins, your acupuncture provider will conduct a thorough examination and ask you questions about your symptoms, diet, habits and lifestyle. This information will help him or her determine if there is a problem with your yin/yang balance and identify the area of concern.

Weak yang can make it easier for infections and inflammation to develop, while a yin deficiency might cause diarrhea. If your yin and yang are not in balance, your immune system weakens, and it's much easier for pathogens and bacteria to cause an illness.

The exterior of your body is dominated by yang, while the interior is primarily yin. If you suddenly become ill, the illness first affects the outer layers of your body and is considered yang. Diseases that become chronic settle deeper into your body and are considered yin. Severe symptoms that occur suddenly are yang, while milder symptoms that also include weakness are yin.

Qi flows through your body in a series of meridians. Once your acupuncture practitioner determines the cause of your imbalance, he or she will insert acupuncture needles at the appropriate meridian, which may be located far from the part of your body experiencing the symptoms.

Other Methods to Balance Yin and Yang

Your acupuncture practitioner may also suggest several other types of treatments in addition to acupuncture that can be helpful in improving yin/yang balance, such as herbal medications, massage or cupping. He or she may also recommend that you increase your fitness level, try meditation or make dietary changes, as the foods you eat, the thoughts you think, and the things you do affect your health and your yin/yang harmony.

Acupuncture treatments offer a drug-free way to overcome or manage many health conditions. Call us today to learn how we can help you improve your physical and mental health.


Acupuncture Today: Yin and Yang Theory


Acupuncture.com: Yin and Yang: A Basic Introduction


University of Minnesota: What is Qi (and Other Concepts)?


Mindbodygreen: How to Stay Nourished with Yin & Yang Foods