Yin and yang is the most important concept in Chinese medicine. Most people have heard of yin and yang but perhaps don’t know how they relate to health. Women are predominantly yin, while men are predominantly yang. Oestrogens are yin while testosterone is yang.
Yin and yang should be in balance. When they fall out of balance, dis-ease occurs. If you have too much yang then you will have too much heat. If you have a deficiency of yin, you can have low levels of cervical mucus and poor egg and sperm quality. Everything can be broken down into either yin or yang.
Yin and yang can also change into each other. This is illustrated by the famous yin and yang symbol with the small circle in each part; the black dot in the white and the white dot in the black. The same principle can be applied to fertility hormones.
When there is too much testosterone in a woman – a male/yang hormone – it increases male characteristics such as facial hair and can cause infertility. When there is too much oestrogen in a man, it creates female characteristics, such as enlarged breasts.
Yin and yang are rooted in Nature. They come from observing the world around us. If we fight against the laws of Nature, our health suffers and we develop infertility. For example, night-time is the time of yin. This is when we should be at our most inactive and should rest and sleep. If we stay up late and continue to work long hours into the night, it will make us more deficient, which will damage yin.
Acupuncture is good at balancing these forces within the body, which aids general health. However, acupuncture cannot give you more yin or yang, energy or blood. What it can do is help the body create them itself. Chinese herbs can give the body what it needs, i.e. more energy (qi), blood, yin or yang. This is why Chinese herbs are considered stronger than acupuncture and are a more popular form of treatment in China.