Yin and Yang in Medical Theory
In ancient times, different societies had their beliefs and ideas concerning matters of medicine. Many concepts were developed in a bid to explain these beliefs in the most logical way. It is imperative to note that for the society to trust theory or concept, the latter had to provide answers to medical questions frequently asked. The Chinese were not an exception in devising their scientific theory. Furthermore, their traditional medical practices were considered ones of the most advanced. Therefore, this paper analyzes the Yin and Yang medical theory.
The Yin and Yang theory provided a platform, which intellectually addressed medical issues. Moreover, the Five Agents theory supported the Yin and Yang theory by addressing some issues in the fields of medicine and biology. There is a belief that the mythological Yellow Emperor advanced and wrote the theory in 3000 BC. Though this was ancient time, the theory had strong Chinese scientific thinking meant to offer solutions to medical issues (Ebrey 77).
From the document, Yin and Yang theory is considered the basis of the entire universe as it tries to cover every aspect of creation. It is the custodian of life and death by showing the connection between the two. Additionally, it links the gods to the events happening in the world, implying that human life cannot be disconnected to their gods. Therefore, the world of the supernatural is real (Ebrey 77).
The Yin and Yang theory focuses on the fact that treatment and curing of diseases involve the identification of their origin as the most fundamental step (Ebrey 77). The story of creation has been used to explain the origin of the diseases. It is believed that the concentration of Yang and Yin created heaven and earth respectively. In other words, Yang is the force of light that concentrated heaven and Yin is the force of darkness that creates the earth. Moreover, Yin depicts a state of confusion and turmoil whereas Yang presupposes peace and tranquility. In addition, Yang conveys disintegration while Yin gives shape to events (Ebrey 77). From the above brief description, it is evident that Yin and Yang are a pair that every phenomenon possesses. The two are considered natural complements based on the counter balance and dependability on each other. Furthermore, the two are mutually convertible as either of them is able to change into its complement (Cook 49).
In medicine, the theory has been used to compare and contrast, thereby differentiating pathological and physiological phenomena (Lozano 11). For instance, the abdomen is Yin and the back is Yang; five viscera are Yin whereas the six bowels are Yang. Similarly, diseases are classified in the same way. The interior, cold, and vacuity are associated with Yin while the exterior, heat, and repletion are Yang. Pulses can be categorized in the similar way where deep and slow pulses are Yin while floating and rapid ones are considered Yang. According to this categorization, Yin and Yang are important tools in Chinese medicine in classification. The logic used in classification is meant to simplify and explain the reason behind each phenomenon (Lozano 12).
Furthermore, Yin and Yang show a high level of interdependencies by the level of operation, implying that Yang cannot exist without Yin whereas Yin cannot exist without Yang (Lozano 15). Therefore, for a phenomenon, event, or situation to be whole, it must have both forces. For instance, cold cannot exist without knowing what heat is, as it will make no sense. Additionally, the interior exists because of the present exterior and vice versa. Moreover, in medicine, the best example of interdependency is the structure and function, which stand for Yin and Yang respectively (Lozano 14). Thus, both of them are compliments of the whole, which in this case is the living body. The structure consists of healthy body tissues and body fluids ensuring normal function. On the other hand, when the functional processes are normally working and in good condition, the essential substances are well replenished. Consequently, structure and function balance ensures healthy physiological activity. Another example of interdependence principle is that Yang represents a day and Yin is the night. However, the early day of the morning is considered Yang whereas hours after afternoon are Yin. It means that, according to this theory, a morning is called Yang within Yang while the afternoon is Yin within Yang (Lozano 12).
Another essential principle of Yin and Yang theory is their counter balance nature (Lozano 10). The principle is helpful when explaining the onset of a disease. The illness usually emerges when there is no balance; in other words, there is either excess or deficit of Yin or Yang. This analogy is used to explain physiological activities in the body and how dangerous imbalances can be. For instance, where Yang is stronger, the body is usually hot and the pores close. Consequently, individuals begin to breathe rapidly and hard, becoming boisterous and not able to respire. Moreover, fever results in dry and sore mouth become, tightness in the stomach, and constipation, which eventually can lead to death. Therefore, Yang being stronger implies the endurance of winter but not summer. On the other hand, the stronger Yin makes the body cold and covered with perspiration. In this case, illness is detected, as individuals feel the chill and tremble. The chill in the body makes their spirits rebellious. As a result, stomach fails to digest food, resulting in death. The above is a clear indication that the stronger Yin in the body makes an individual endure summer as opposed to winter. Therefore, counter balance is a vital element when it comes to prevention of diseases (Lozano 11).
The treatment of disease should involve the restoration of balance by supplying insufficiency and superabundance (Jaeger 8). The effect of the drugs on the body can be classified as either Yin or Yang. Therefore, it is essential for the type of deficiency to be identified during diagnosis. The imbalance can lead to serious health problems if not taken care of properly. In human subconscious anatomy, a complication in the system can be detected without the help of a physician. For instance, vacuity results from a disorder of either Yang or Yin. Therefore, the complication is treated by supplementation where the insufficient Yin or Yang is provided (Jaeger 9).
As mentioned earlier, Yin and Yang show a high level of transformation from one to another and this phenomenon is observed in the world. Yang is transformed into Yin and Yin evolves into Yang. For instance, a day that is Yang transforms into Yin that is the night. In medicine, transformation in Yin and Yang is the natural result of growth and death. The pattern displayed by both of them is considered the source of life in the universe, which can be described as the smooth, healthy living. However, diseases come to disrupt the transitions. The Chinese medicine theory asserts when Yin reaches extreme levels, it transforms into Yang. For example, the heat transforms into the cold when it blazes (Jaeger 10).
The Five Phase Theory extends the Yin and Yang theory by devising a mechanism where all phenomena in the world are grouped into five categories (Jaeger 11). The categories are a representation of the tendencies and movements in the universe. They are usually linked naturally with such phenomena as earth, wood, water, fire, and water. The constant relation between these categories can explain the changes. There is a two-cycle relationship, which includes controlling and engendering cycles, which are always natural and necessary. The absence of engendering means no life while a lack of control leads to excess (Jaeger 12).
Engendering cycle is a process where phases proceed in a bid to generate the next activity in an orderly sequence (Jaeger 11). The movement of one phase leads to the next activity. It can be observed in the Traditional Chinese Medicine where the fire is regarded as the heart, which warms the body. Additionally, water engenders wood where in the human body kidney nourishes liver blood. From the analogy, it is clear that engendering cycle plays a major role in the Chinese Traditional Medicine. On the other hand, controlling cycle plays a crucial role too (Jaeger 13). For instance, Wood controls the Earth: The prevention of the spleen from becoming stagnant is done by liver’s dredging effect. Thus, it is an immense display of how the cycles are used in medicine (Jaeger 13).
From the paper, it is evident that the Chinese scientific approach to medicine tries to give answers to different phenomena from medicine day-to-day events. In medicine, Yin and Yang theory is widely used to explain the pathological and physiological activities. For instance, in pathology, the abdomen is considered Yin and the back is considered Yang. Moreover, the paper explained the physiological process and ways Yin and Yang regulate it. Additionally, the fundamental characteristics of Yin and Yang theory have been covered. Their characteristics are significant for the health of an individual. Therefore, any imbalance or detection can lead to a serious problem in the human body. Lastly, the five phases are important in medicine; they have been used to explain how the body system operates.