The concept of Yin and Yang

The concept of Yin-Yang is simple, but at the same time very profound and, together with the concept of Qi, an important part of Eastern philosophy and medicine. It is also the basis of theTaoist philosophy. The Yin and Yang are binary opposites but also complementary.

The symbol

The white part is Yang and the black part is Yin. In each part you will find a dot with the color of the opposite. A curved line separates the parts.

Yin and Yang are rising and falling phases during which we transition from an extreme Yin to a Yin with Yang, to a Yang with less Yin and then to an extreme Yang. The constant mutual attraction and repulsion causes constant changes that will manifest in what we call the universe.

Below is a photo of the evolution of the four Yin-Yang stages.

From left to right : complete Yang, Yang in Yin, complete Yin, Yin in Yang

The maximum of different possibilities of the trigrams eventually gives a 64- hexagrams model and forms the full circle of the Yin and Yang symbol. The symbol in its entirety is called Tai Ji.

Below a picture of the 8 trigrams

The model is based on a cyclical movement like everything in life. The movements of energy are equal to life. It is not that it suddenly gets dark during the day, it is a slow process with transition phases. It is also not the case that you suddenly have a burnout or illness from one day to the next. There are many signals before you get through or symptoms come to the surface. A switch in seasons also takes a lot of time and before you notice that it is really spring, a very energetic process preceded.

The Yin and Yang represents two states in the transformation process, so we additionally have:

Yang: the sun, light, brightness, activity, warmth, male element,…
Yin: the moon, dark, shadow, calm, cold, feminine element,…

What determines what Yin or Yang is ? There is no absolute definition, Yin and Yang depend on the situation.

Lao Tzu, the wise Taoist, wrote the following:

Being and not being create each other
Difficult and not difficult complement each other
Long and short define each other
High and low are opposite to each other
Front and back follow each other

Everything contains Yin and Yang, but that ratio is never the same. Everything is Yin or Yang in relation to something else. For example, in the south of Europe, the weather is warmer and therefore Yang, compared to the colder north of Europe, but the south of Europe is Yin compared to the hot Africa. So it is good to remember that Yin and Yang are always defined in proportion to something. The top part of our body is Yang, in contrast to the lower Yin part. But in the upper part you also have a Yang and Yin part, the chest can then be Yin, in contrast to the more Yang head.

The center line in the symbol of the Yin and Yang is constantly moving. Sometimes, for example, a person may be more Yang or more Yin at some stage of their life. We have both Yin and Yang in us. For example, a woman with a lot of Yang energy will attract a man with more Yin energy to find balance. The energy of Yin and Yang in each person in a relationship can change according to internal and external circumstances.

Yin and Yang in the body

In the body we have 6 Yin meridians with upward flow and 6 Yang meridians with downward flow. Because of the driving forces of Yin and Yang, a Yin meridian flows into a Yang and vice versa. Yin meridians feed Yang organs and Yang meridians feed Yin organs. In each of the 5 elements you have a Yin meridian connected to a Yang organ and a Yang meridian linked to a Yin organ.
In the body, the skin and surface are Yang and everything inside including the organs is Yin.

Application of Yin and Yang in an acupressure Shiatsu session:

In a Shiatsu treatment, everything can be brought back to the basic theory of Yin and Yang. One will tonify the Yang and/or the Yin and eliminate the Yang or Yin of excess energy in the meridians and organs. The Yang meridians flow along the back of the body and serve to protect us from external influences. The Yin meridians at the front will feed the body. For example, an excess of Yang energy can rise to the head. A person with an excess of Yang will always be hot while a person with an excess of Yin will always be cold.

In the picture below you see the Chinese clock and the moment of the day an organ is the most active.

An excess of cold, moisture, heat and wind can penetrate and disturb the body. All the symptoms are always an imbalance between Yin and Yang.

The Yin is at rest while the Yang is more active. Yin is growing while Yang gives life. The Yang transforms into the Qi, the Yin transforms into the material.

All the information can be translated in terms of Yang or Yin

Change is good and balance is in you

Yin and Yang in balance and harmony, that’s what we aim for

Daniel Van Nerom – Shiatsu therapist, teacher