Yin and yang
Yin and yang is the most well-known term from Chinese philosophy. It also plays an important role in traditional Chinese medicine. The circular, black-and-white symbol divided by an S-shaped line into a dark and a light segment with a dot of the contrasting colour on each side is also very popular.
There is no precise definition of yin and yang as various philosophies interpret the symbols in different ways. One of the best descriptions is that the symbol stands for an opposing relationship of objects. It is often wrongly seen as a symbol of masculinity and femininity, but that interpretation is not quite right. It’s much more about opposites which the individual terms yin and yang describe. For example active and passive or giving and taking. However, yin and yang represent an eternal process. This means that with the rise of one element, a fall and a rise must occur in the other. Both symbols always balance each other out. Astronomers even compare this processuality with processes seen in nature.
Yin is described as being passive and cool. It represents the receptive, declining side of life. According to the yin-yang symbol, yin is represented by the dark side. Yang on the other hand is active and warm. It rises up and gives. Yang is related to the terms sun and lightness.
Yin and yang are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. They can be related to physical functions such as inhaling and exhaling. Therefore, in traditional Chinese medicine, the balance of the forces equates to health and well-being. If the balance is disrupted due to unhealthy eating, stress and other negative energies, illness can occur and treatment from a TCM doctor is required.
The individual organs can also be categorised according to yin and yang. For example, organs that are responsible for the breakdown of food such as the stomach and the gut are represented by yang. Organs which save energy, such as the liver and the spleen, are represented by yin. Every yin organ has a corresponding yang organ – and, of course, vice versa. Both organs influence each other. Symptoms of diseases can also be classified according to the two terms. A doctor has to discover how the balance of both has been disrupted and tries to restore it.
Our Chinese massage is based on yin and yang principles. It’s all about mobilising and balancing life forces.