Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) emphasizes that nature follows certain principles. Nature has a dualistic nature seen in the interaction of opposing forces to produce energy and harmony. In electricity, there is a negative and positive force interacting with each other to produce power. In the elements, fire is contained by water and water can be contained by fire. We can see that this interaction makes life flourish through the cycle of rain.
Heat from the sun and the earth vaporizes water from the oceans, the vapor condenses into clouds and air allows it to travel on land, clouds are then transformed into water falling on the ground as rain. Rain then flows back to the ocean and the cycle repeats itself. Duality of nature is also seen in darkness and light, in predator and prey, sickness and health and in life and death. In human society, duality is manifested in good and bad, moral and immoral, sin and virtue.
The principles of yin and yang are just part of nature’s duality. In TCM, yin and yang are respectively the cold and heat principles interacting within the body. There should be relative a balance of these forces in the body for good health. The role of yin and yang in the body is the way Chinese medicine explains the physiological processes which the body undergoes.
To illustrate, a yin organ like the kidneys has functions that are yang (yang chi) in nature while the small and large intestines considered yang organs have activities that are yin in essence (yin chi). The harmonious balance of these two forces causes these organs to function normally promoting growth and good health.
The balance can be disrupted due to invasion of pathogens or the climate and this leads to diseases and sicknesses. Pathogens can be either yin or yang in nature. In both cases, these pathogens bring their forces in the body resulting in either yin or yang deficiency. Yang pathogens result in the slowing of bodily yang, which affects bodily yin. This will manifest as a heat syndrome. Yin pathogens will result in a cold syndrome.
Once a diagnosis is determined, the acupuncturist will select the best acupuncture treatment for the sick. Pathogen infections and climate-caused sickness are usually treated with both acupuncture and herbal medicine. Acupuncture Palm Harbor needles are introduced in some parts of the body allowing the removal of excess of yin or yang and removing blockage of chi so that any yang or yin chi deficiency is replenished. Herbal medicine also corrects this imbalance and concoctions are sold specific to any yin or yang deficient organ. Once the flow of chi is normalized, the body’s immune system becomes strong enough to defeat the pathogens thus helping the sick person on the road to recovery.