By: James Yang Chung, 9th Generation Master of House of Yida* (Yida is an abbreviated conjugation of Yin and Yang + Tao (The Way). The eternal keepers of balance and harmony)
East Asian philosophy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are focused around the quest for universal balance of equal but opposite forces.
These two basic binary building blocks of the universe are Yin and Yang.
Yin and Yang can be illustrated by other opposing features in nature. Negative and Positive. Moon and Sun. Water and Fire. Woman and Man.
They are two forces, though opposing, that are interdependent and complementary. They are mutually transforming in a constant fluctuation that ebbs and flows into each other. They need each other.
Like two opposite magnetic plates in a copper-wired motor, Yin and Yang chase each other in a continuous circular motion. Like simultaneous lovers and enemies, yin and yang are partners in Life.
When out of balance, stagnation obstructs the smooth flow of Qi, which is the life energy that resides in all living things.
When in balance, Qi runs harmoniously, perpetually producing the all-important YuanQi. Yuan is also called the Prime Motive Qi. Similar to Western Medicine’s Adenosine Triphosphates (ATP), Yuan Qi is the basic unit for productive energy in the body.
Yuan Qi fuels all of the metabolic requirements needed to expend energy, whether static or kinetic.
Metabolism is a sum of all the processes and maintenance work needed to keep us healthy and happy. If the metabolism drops then it means there is less energy available to keep us sustained and satiated.
TCM is, in essence, broken down into two things.
유통무통 When there is stagnation, then there is pain.
모통유통 When there is smooth flow, then there is no pain.
The main concern for every TCM practice is the smooth and proper flow of Qi.
When systems operate smoothly, that means that they are powered by the smooth flow of Qi and all is well.
Qi forms the Yang aspect of Blood.
Blood carries all of the nutrients and necessities that your body needs to perform optimally. The Heart Yang uses Qi to contract the muscles which pump blood.
Motive Qi like micro-tornadoes creating blood pressure and current enables smooth circulation and distribution of blood throughout the entire body.
Continuous production of the Motive Qi is crucial to maintaining wellness.
But the question that has been asked by man since the dawn of time is, “what is wellness?”
In TCM, we also roughly define it as Happiness, Health and Wealth that enrich the Mind, Body and Soul. Wellness is a full spectrum experience.
As Yin and Yang is the most basic, infinitely divisible fractal unit, the principle of Yin-Yang Dynamic Balance (YYDB) provides the blueprint for energizing each Motive Qi Unit (MOU) that powers up and keeps the universe in balance at every level of fracticality, however small or big.
YYDB is the cosmic code for universal balance and sustainability.
When applied to our beautiful natural world, as well as our bodies, it comes alive with all its splendid colors and bright lights teeming with life.
On Planet Earth, YYDB gave birth to the Five Elements Theory.
Our world is divided into 5 Core Elements.
All Five have unique relationships with one another.
The elements act as a family. They are interdependent, yet like any family, opposing and supporting at the same time.
Five Elements are an active bunch.
Fire governs the sun, the colour red, ruby stones, the heart, and the small intestine.
The Fire of the heart pumps the blood throughout the body. Thus Fire is the engine and is a rainmaker. It governs blood and houses the Shen Spirit.
The Fire from the Sun’s nuclear fissions warms and enlivens the Earth and all living things. All those photons bring life to the plants –the purest and most basic food source.
Earth and Soil govern our planet, the colour yellow, Topaz stones, the Spleen, and the stomach.
The Earth is fertile. It is the medium to life. Seeds germinate and give root within the safety of its warmth and opulence.
The Earth is the Operating System. It makes things all things possible– giving every chance a shot at opportunity. One cubic inch of natural soil has infinite potential residing within.
Spleen and Small Intestine breaks down the food and absorb the nutrients like Earth.
Earth makes it possible for Metal to grow and fortify. Metals are forged in the hearth of Earth.
Metal governs the color white, the precious stone diamond, the lungs, and the large intestine.
Metal is a game-changing element. Metal is a catalyst for evolution. Metal is the peacemaker.
Metal keeps Water clean.
The Lungs keep the Pectoral Qi in check while facilitating the Air-Oxygen-CO2 exchange. Just as the Lungs keep the body clean, Silver cleans Water.
Water governs the colour blue, the precious stone sapphire, the kidneys, and the bladder
Water is the bearer of life. It nourishes and cleanses life. Nothing can live without it.
Kidney represents water and is its treatment center.
Water must flow to grow Wood.
Wood governs the colour green, the precious stonr emerald, the liver, and the gall bladder.
Liver is where blood is stored and processed before it flows to the heart.
When the Wood element of the Liver is upset, it offends the Earth element in the spleen and the stomach. That imbalance can cause emotional distress and digestive complications.
Wood fuels the Fire which completes the cycle and q brings us back to the beginning.
Just as organs are interrelated and interdependent, so are the elements. The whole family of five has to be in balance to stay happy and healthy.
Our Earth is the same. The whole Five Elements much be in Yin-Yang Dynamic Balance in order to thrive.
It is all a balancing act.
TCM’s Five Elements Theory is the ultimate Roadmap for Sustainability that has been hiding in plain sight. It has always been a part of the universal interpretation. Its dynamic rules dominate humanity as much as Earth. It is here to teach us the way of Yin and Yang.