Flowing from yin to yang
The way Traditional Chinese Medicine sees health is as the flow of yin and yang. These concepts apply in every part of our lives. Here we will just take a quick overview of what they mean for our health. From this perspective it is not only the â€˜amountâ€™ or â€˜balanceâ€™ of yin and yang, it is also how easily we flow from one to the other that determines our health.
Firstly there is sleeping (yin) and waking (yang). We need enough sleep to restore ourselves so that we can move easily in to our days activities. If you can, allow yourself to sleep until you are ready to get up. You may be surprised by how much sleep you need. But when you do get enough sleep your alertness goes up a lot. In the West we tend to devalue the yin â€“ we care about what people do (the yang). But without the restoration of sleep we will do less and do it less well. Nourishing the yin aspect of our lives is important. When we have rested enough we will naturally move into doing.
Then, while awake there is ideleness (yin) and activity (yang). Working ceaselessly all our waking hours is not a recipe for good health. Those pagers are stressful, even when we arenâ€™t paged. They mean that a part of us still working â€“ even when it doesnâ€™t look like it. And so the active yang intrudes into the parts of our lives where we should be resting (a yin time). Idleness is not wasted time, it is time when we are being restored.
Our waking hours should alternate rest and activity. I take a while to start the day, others like to work lots in the morning and tail off in the afternoon. Others only fire up once the sun starts setting. The more you can know and work in accord with your own rhythm of yin and yang the healthier you will be.