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Yin Yang Theory

Health Awareness and Disease Prevention


75px-Yin_and_Yang_svgYin-Yang Theory is a method of categorization that is a fundamental concept of Taoism Philosophy originating in Ancient China and dating back thousands of years, perhaps before a written language was developed. Yin-Yang Theory can be considered a tool that can aid us in the understanding of life and the amazing complex ways of nature. It can help us understand the natural flow of nature. By understanding that fire is yang and naturally rises and that water is yin and naturally seeks the lowest regions we can categorizes things within the world around us to understand their natural flow. We can use Yin-Yang Theory to categorize other aspects of importance such as health to understand how disease manifests itself and how we can bring balance and order back to the body restoring health. The application of heat to a person’s body that is feeling cold neutralizes the excess cold condition and brings the body back into balance. This is a simple example but the ways of nature and life are obviously infinitely more complex and will prove to contain a lifetime of challenges as a study. Below is a simple outline of Yin-Yang Theory that I have referenced out of an acupuncture reference book called The Foundations of Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia with a few alterations of my own.

Yin-Yang Theory – The categorization of opposite elements in harmonious transition

Yin (Water)Yang (Fire)
Producing FormProducing Energy

Note: Yin is a category, Water is an item in that category.

Four Aspects of Yin and Yang

1 Opposition of Yin and Yang

  • Potential difference creates the motive force for change, development and decay.
  • Nothing is completely yin or yang.
  • Yin carries the seeds of yang and yang carries the seeds of yin.
  • Yin and Yang are never in a 50/50 state of balance.


  • a slight offset in balance creates change.
  • The relationship is dynamic and not static.

2 Interdependence of Yin and Yang

  • They are relative and not absolute – one cannot exist without the other.
  • Nothing is totally Yin nor Yang.

    3 Mutual Consumption of Yin and Yang

  • A continuous adjustment to the levels of yin and yang seeking to sustain and perpetuate existence. Separation or exhaustion of Yin and Yang leads to disorder and the termination of existence.
  • 4 states of imbalance


  • Excess yin – consumes yang
  • Excess yang – consumes yin
  • Deficient yin – a weakened state that can become further consumed
  • Deficient yang – a weakened state that can become further consumed

4 Inter-transformation of Yin and Yang

  • Yin transforms into yang.
  • Yang transforms into yin.
  • Not occurring randomly – occurs at a specific time just like the changing of the seasons.
  • 2 conditions are required for proper transformation
    • Specific time – in nature a pine nut will grow into a sprout at a specific time of year with the proper potential and become a pine tree
    • Potential
      • Internal conditions are primary
        • It must have the internal potential to grow into a pine tree. A rock lacks the potential to become a pine tree.
      • External conditions are secondary
        • Proper external conditions such as temperature and moisture are necessary to support this change.

    Christopher Carlow, D. Ac. Doctor of Acupuncture Date: 8/20/05


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