Yin and Yang – a brief explanation

Chinese medicine relies on the concept of Yin and Yang. But what does it mean and how does it affect fertility?

If you’re focused on improving your fertility, living by the principles of Chinese medicine can make a big difference. It centres on the concept of Yin and Yang, which is a kind of balance.

One way of understanding the concept of Yin and Yang is to imagine the sun shining on a hill. You have a sunny side and a shady side. The sunny side represents the hot Yang energy of life, like fire, and the shady side represents the cool Yin energy of life, like water. Too little water and the fire will get out of control. Too much water and the fire will go out.

The cycle of Yin and Yang

A 24-hour period follows the cycle of Yin and Yang, as do the annual seasons. Summer and midday are seen as representing the peaks in Yang energy when the sun is at its hottest. They’re the times of most light and therefore, according to Chinese Medicine, the times we should be most active. Winter and midnight, being their counterpoints in the season and 24-hour cycle, represent the most intense times of Yin energy. They’re the points of greatest darkness, therefore, when we should be resting and replenishing.

Yin and Yang are in a continual cycle. As Yin declines, so Yang grows and vice versa. The two energies are interconnected in that they consume each other but also feed each other just as we see in the transition seasons of spring and autumn.

Living by Yin and Yang principles

On a day to day basis, living by Yin and Yang principles quite simply means being active during the day and resting at night, but there is much more to it than that. We need to have an awareness of the right types of foods to eat and the correct level of exercise, both according to the season and our own constitution. If we find ourselves regularly busy at night – socialising or working – then we are using up our restful Yin energy. We are burning the ‘midnight oil’ and not giving ourselves the time to rest as we should in the evenings. This will lead to symptoms of dryness such as thirst, dry skin and restless sleep. By the same token, catching up on sleep during the day will cause our Yang energy to drop and not reach its full potential, thereby making us feel lethargic, heavy and generally a bit lack lustre.

To best nourish ourselves and enhance our overall health, we need to be aware of these cycles and how they can affect us.

Living by the cycle of Yin and Yang and the world around us is a broad principle and something we should always have in mind. It is a principle to help us live our lives in a more balanced way and should encourage us to regularly monitor our own health in relation to the seasons, the time of day and our own constitution.

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