It is inherent in the natural order of things that positives and negatives are critical in a balanced environment. Therefore, the assertions of yin yang are significant in explaining the order of things in the universe. In life, there are good and positive aspects on one hand, while, on the other, there are bad or negative aspects. Therefore, the categorization of actions, objects, characteristics or any aspect as positive or negative is an indication of the viability of the yin yang perspective. The existence of life and its perpetuation are characterized by challenges, which demonstrate positive, and negatives, hence the concept of yin yang is critical to individual understanding and subsequent understanding of one’s environment.
Yin yang concept is premised on the assertion that positives and negatives need one another in order to create a balanced environment. The presence of a dark moment is mitigated by a lighter moment; therefore, a coordinated existence between positives and negatives, where transition from one state to the other is critical. For instance, yin yang suggests that night is preceded by daylight; however, the transition from positive to negative indicate a transmutation of cooperating energies, which contrast each, other on a fundamental basis. The concept of yin yang proposes that conflicting energies illustrate a harmonious coexistence where one needs the other for reinforcement and optimal functioning. In spite, the unitary aspect of objects, the dualism aspect is inherent in all things, where at one point a negative or a positive dominates (Flaws 5); therefore, Yin yang is critical in striking balance, hence preventing conflicts, clashes, destruction and death. Though the concepts of yin yang have their origins in china, their principle applications are prevalent across the world as applied in the different forms of positive and negative aspects. Thus, yin yang attempts to explain the variation of all aspects of life.
Yin yang interacts with the world to facilitate development, variation and conception of things in the natural environment. The ancient Chinese observed that the qi was the original state of things; however, through its variations and mobility, the resulting poles of yin yang were produced (Mou 289). Hence since every aspect of the universe is a factor of variation and motion of chi, each aspect is divisible as yin and yang. These aspects are observed in the night and day, low and high, male and female. Given that yin has a meaning of shadow while yang represents sunshine, however, the applications of the yin yang concept are not restricted to these, but applies to an infinite number of possibilities that oppose each other.
Therefore, yin yang depicts issues and things in their abstract form; however, for identification purposes, symbolic elements like water and fire are used to identify and align things accordingly. Thus, those illustrating active, warm, bright, rising or dispersing are aligned to yang; while those that are characterized as dim, static, astringing, cold or descending are attributable to yin. These properties of yin yang are not constant or fixed; however, they are prone to changes and transitions into other states (Mou 57). These changes into different things are attributable to application and time changes. For instance, warm weather patterns may change as a result of climatic changes or season changes. Hence seasons like spring are associated with yang while cold seasons are attributed to yin. However, despite these categorizations, the aspects of yin can be further subdivided into further scenarios of yin and yang, within aspects of yin and yang. Therefore, it is crucial to note that each aspect is critical in defining the direction or alignment observed by proponents of each. Therefore, yin yang describes various aspects of life amongst the living and their environment. The understanding of yin yang in relation to the functions and behavior of the universe as characterized by nature is crucial (Mou 293). The concepts of yin and yang as depicted by the ancient and modern practitioner’s traditional Chinese medicine demonstrate the extent of application for these concepts.
The assertion presented by the yin yang theory depicts the human body as a complete organic structure whose tissues and structures are comprehensively interconnected, while each can be categorized as an opposite of yin and yang. Significantly the classification of the upper body as yang while the lower body is classified as yin (Wen 73); Hence the outer body is symbolic of yang and the internal symbolized as yin, whereas the medial represents yin and the lateral represents yang. In light of this, it is apparent that the normal functioning of the human body is attributable to balance achieved by yin and yang.
Hence, the physiological aspects of body organs and their components are inherently related to yin and yang. For instance, the activities representing yang of a given organ based on the organs substance which represents the organs yin; when either is absent the organ cannot function. Hence the physiological activities lead to the conversion of yang into yin. In the event that yin and yang cannot sustain relative interaction and balance, they will be separated an aspect which is likely to lead to the death of their dependent. It is critical that yin maintains equilibrium with yang; therefore, maintaining normative conditions of qi, whereas separating yin and yang is likely to lead to essential qi being exhausted. An aspect which should be avoided by maintaining appropriate balances of yin and yang.
The concepts of Yin yang ascribe that diseases result from an imbalance between yin and yang leading to hypo-activity or hyperactivity of yin and yang. On the other hand, the development and occurrence if diseases are also attributed to antipathogenic or body resistance factors. Therefore, the interaction between antipathogenic factors and body resistance is factorized by aspects of yin and yang. Pathogenic factors are described as yin-natured or yang natured pathogenic aspects. In the case of yang pathogenic aspects, hypo-activity of bodily yang may be brought about which may lead to injury of yin resulting to a heat syndrome, whereas if the disease result from yin related pathogenic aspects it may lead to hypo-activity of yin; hence resulting to a cold syndrome (Flaws 61). A deficiency in yang leads to failure in the restriction of yin in the pre-existing balanced relationship leading to deficiency which is indicated as a cold deficiency. Yin deficiency and yang excess leads to deficiency (Xu) heat symptoms. Since pathological changes in diseases vary, they can be explained in relation to yin yang imbalances; where yin excess leads to cold syndromes while yang preponderance culminates to heat syndromes.
Given that the principle causes of diseases as per traditional Chinese medicine is a factor of imbalances in yin and yang. Therefore, in spite of the volatility or intricacy of the clinical manifestation, they can be summed up as yin and yang syndromes. The inspection methods in traditional Chinese medicine are critical in determining the nature of the syndrome and causative factors. These methods include auscultation and olfaction, inspection, palpation and inquiry. These methods employ yin and yang in their diagnosis.
For instance, in the interior body cold syndrome and deficiency (Xu) are categorized as yin, while on the exterior body heat syndrome and excess (Shi) are categorized as yang. Dim color as yin while bright color as yang; low voice indicates yin whereas loud voice illustrates yang; heavy breathing as yang while shallow breathing as yin (Wen 15). In light of this, treatment of yin yang imbalances aims at restoring and readjusting the balance. Hence in medical applications, the concept of yin yang applies in principles of treatment and asserts the action, flavor and properties of traditional Chinese medicine. Hence acts as a fundamental guide to the administration of traditional Chinese medicine. Therefore, the objective of treatment is to ensure complete restoration of healthy yin yang factors and actions.
Yin yang theories characterize each aspect of life into two opposites, which should strike a balance in order for normative conditions to exist. The assertions that an excess of either opposite may have a catastrophic effect significantly in healthy matters cannot be ignored. The categorization and distinctions between yin and yang are essential in creating an understanding of individuals; natural, environmental, cosmic and anatomical differences which when combined create a coherent, sensible and healthy aspect of life (Wen 68). Therefore, the theories of yin yang should be described as an aspect of Chinese traditional philosophy but rather should be perceived as a legitimate interpretation of issues and the proposed approaches to implement in arriving at optimal solutions.
The distinction between positive and negative, right and wrong has a significant impact in averting social- environmental and health problems. Therefore, these aspects should be observed critically. However, despite the potential contribution of the yin yang theories, their restriction to traditional Chinese practices creates a limitation to their application. Therefore, an open minded approach to these theories should be applied to modern practice, where traditional and modern practices are blended together. These will enable a formulation of an optimal option which reduces the redundancies of the traditional approaches while controlling the technical aspect of modernization. Yin yang theories comprehensively attempt at depicting the world in relative aspects which maintain their conceptual relevance while preserving the traditional and cultural perspectives of Chinese philosophy.