Updated: Oct 26, 2021
In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a concept of dualism, describing how obviously opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world.
Yin is the receptive and Yang the active principle. The Yin is negative, dark, and feminine principle. The Yang positive, bright, and masculine principle.
A common analogy to explain yin and yang is to look at a pot of boiling rice. The water in the pot which is boiling is the "yin", The water vapor rising out of the pot is the "yang". Both are needed to cook the rice properly. Think of a scenario where there is plenty of yin, water, in the pot, but no steam, no yang...the rice isn't really cooking, nothing is happening. And the opposite scenario would be if there is so much vapor, but no more water left to cook, the rice and pot become burned. In both scenarios, you're not getting the rice. A balance between the two is necessary. Turn up the flame to get the water to boil, Add more water to make sure the food won't burn. The yin is responsible for moistening and cooling. When the yin is depleted the body begins to show signs of heating up.
Some symptoms of yin deficiency include:
. Hot flashes
. Night sweats
. Difficulty staying asleep through the night
. Ringing in the ears
. Dry hair/ dry skin
. Prematurely grey hair
. Lower back pain
. Scanty cervical fluid
. Shortened menstrual cycle
. Joint Pain
How To fortify your Yin and prevent Yin deficiency
Types of Food In Traditional Chinese medicine proper diet is an important component of health.
All foods are categorized according to 2 characteristics:
Temperature: from hot to cold
Flavor : pungent, spicy, sweet, sour and salty.
Different temperatures and flavors of food influence the body in specific ways. One should try to include all flavors and a balance of temperatures in every meal. If too much of one type of food is consumed it can create an imbalance with in the body.
Food to Add
. barley, millet, quinoa
Adzuki beans, kidney beans, black beans, black soya beans, mung beans,
. beef, duck, fish or broth made from these animals
. sesame seeds, black sesame seeds and walnut
. asparagus, artichoke, pea, potato, seaweed, sweet potato, yam, tomato, seaweed, beets,
. egg, butter
. apple, pear, pomegranate, watermelon, banana, avocado, persimmon, grapes
Food to Avoid
hot spicy foods
stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, recreational drugs
How To Eat: Traditional Chinese medicine believes how we eat our food is also relevant. It is important to: Sit down to eat, chew food well, pay attention to eating, turn off the television/ phone; get away from the work desk. Eat organic foods that are in season and grown locally if possible. Do not skip meals and eat the same times every day.
What to Drink:
Drink thin fluids – water, herbal tea, clear soups and watery fruits.
Some added salt in food (health permitting) to retain water.
Strengthen your yin with healthy lifestyle :
Yin energy is all about calm, cool energy. It’s about slowing down, resting, and restorative sleep. Consider these:
· Practice moderate exercise like tai qi, walking, swimming, and restorative yoga (avoid “hot” yoga which can further deplete the yin).
· Practice meditation, guided imagery, mindfulness, or chi gong. These practices help relax the mind, calm the nervous system, and manage stress and anxiety.
· Go to bed by 10:30 in order to restore yin. Create a healthy bedtime ritual: turn off computers and phones, drink herbal tea, write in your journal, spritz lavender oil on your pillow, listen to a guided meditation...
Herbal formulas to support the yin:
Esther Hornstein LAc. Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner can prescribe specific herbs to balance the yin and yang of your body. Some common herbal formulas to support the yin include: Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan.
Among the hundreds of acupuncture points are locations that clear heat, and build yin. Acupuncture works in many ways, and can also take into account specific organ dis-harmonies that are prone during this time of year. A seasonal treatment can help you cope with the weather.
Hot Flush, Overheating & Menopause ( natural or medically induced )
Yin deficiency can cause the body to overheat.
Here are some cooling foods to include : lettuce and vegetable salads, raw sprouts, fresh fruit (especially watermelon, melons, peaches), cucumber, celery, seaweed, mung bean soup, yogurt, bean and grain salads, and fish.
Cooling Fluid to include: Drink mint, chamomile, lemon balm, hibiscus, rose hip and chrysanthemum teas, hot or cooled. Green and white tea are also cooling, but avoid these if you have anxiety or insomnia since they contain caffeine. You can add cucumber, mint and lemon slices to water for a refreshing drink.
If you have night sweats or excessive sweats, use good quality salt like himalayan, celtic, and fleur du sel when salting your food. These natural salts contain vital trace minerals to replace those lost through sweat. Electrolyte powders, coconut water and naturally fermented drinks like water kefir, coconut water kefir, and kombucha also help with hydration.
Avoid foods that are very heating including: hot peppers, chilies, hot spicy food in general, lamb, venison, and trout.
Acupuncture: several research have come to the conclusion that acupuncture was associated with reductions in hot flushes, excess sweating, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and skin and hair problems.
Yin deficiency can lead to anxiety.
Here are some herbs to calm and cool: oat straw,
skullcap, chamomile, catnip, mint, valerian, lemon balm, jujube, and schisandra berries. You can make herbal teas from these herbs or use tinctures. Please consult with an herbalist for doses.
herbal relaxant combination:
Mix together in a glass jar the following dried herbs- 2 cups chamomile, 1 cup peppermint, 1/2 cup nettles, 1/2 cup lemon balm.
To prepare the tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1/2 Tablespoon of this mixture in a mug.
Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
Strain the herbs,
and add honey or lemon to taste. You can also place the herbs into a tea bag or tea ball to steep. (This saves the straining step).
Ways to “cool down” emotionally: meditating, deep breathing, taking walks, exercising, and decreasing stress in your life.
Esther Hornstein LAc. Licenced Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Therapist
Her private practice is in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
To make an appointment you may:
call or WhatsApp : 054-719-9600
e-mail : email@example.com