What is Yang?

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What is Yang? (陽)
In TCM "陽者, 若天與曰, 失其所, 則折壽而不彰" which translates to: "Yang is like sky (heaven) and day (sun), when it is lost, life is broken/ shortened and disease/ sickness arrive"
When Yang is sufficient through the body there is healthy flow of Qi (vital life force), healthy transformation of fluids and toxins are excreted sufficiently. For example, if Yang is sufficient, Qi moves normally in the abdomen to move toxins through the intestines allowing the body to digest adequately. If Yang is low, that causes the Qi to decrease and there is less power to move and transform fluids (which is how dampness and phlegm are formed). This leads to toxin accumulation and stagnated blood. Over time, these problems manifest into physical symptoms: body pain, weight gain, thyroid problems, liver disease, stomach disorders, kidney disease, infertility, cancers, tumors, etc. Truly almost every disease is caused by Yang deficiency.
How is Yang depleted?
1️⃣Going to bed late: Continuously staying up past 11p or 12a due to our cell phones, TV, internet is hazardous to our health. Our body runs on the circadian rhythm, which is the internal system that regulates Qi throughout the body in 2 hour organ and meridian specific intervals. Starting at 11pm the body wants to sleep and regenerate. It is the initial cleansing of all tissues. Then at 1am - 3am the liver is in motion, for deep rest, detoxification and processing wastes and emotions. Your body needs to be sleeping for optimal processing. The amount of hours you sleep aren't created equal, it is the time you sleep that matters most. For people below 25 years of age, it's possible you might not see side effects from going to bed late now, but it will catch up with you later in life. 2️⃣Consuming cold foods and drinks: this reduces Yang, especially specific for the spleen and stomach Yang. We should try to eat and drink fresh, warm, hot foods all year long, even in summer. In the summer time, our body's yang is at its peak, mirroring the high temperature of the summer season, so when we go to the far extreme of cold food and drinks, we aren't aligning with nature. When we consume cold foods and drinks, there is not enough Yang to warm up our digestion, more Qi is used, and the remaining cold is retained within the body. This creates dampness which blocks the Yang from circulating properly. Furthermore, excess sweets and spicy food creates dampness as well. Symptoms include: excess phlegm, excess weight, IBS, stomach distention, poor circulation, painful periods, PMS, skin issues, diarrhea.

3️⃣Air conditioning: The over use of AC and fans in the summer while our pores are hot and open retains the cold air in our bodies. Once again, we are not mirroring nature with severely cold AC blasting, we should be a bit warm just like the weather.

4️⃣Over exercise: exercise can increase Yang when done properly, but in our modern lifestyle I see many people working all day then going to a strenuous exercise where they sweat heavily. This depletes Yang. You can exercise for a short while, or on the weekends. Something moderate like a walk in the park is always best. Sometimes, less is more.
5️⃣Excess sexual activity: in relation to TV, internet, magazines, etc actually consumes Yang as well as clinging to sensual pleasure, even the desire for material pleasures and satisfactions consumes Yang.
6️⃣Modern day life: a busy schedule, stressful work environment, pressure, sadness, worrying, and negative emotions consume our Yang. Positivity is a Yang emotion and needs that feeling in the body and in the cells to be retained.
7️⃣Over use of medication: chronic diseases that require pain killers and antibiotics greatly weakens Yang.
Now that you know how important YANG is and how it becomes depleted, here is what you need to know to restore and keep your Yang.

The Huangdi Neijing also known as the The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic (Huangdi Neijing, 黃帝內經) is the most important ancient text in Chinese medicine. It stated that the summer months is the best time to build or replenish our Yang. He said "Spring: sprouting/start, Summer: growth, Fall: harvest, Winter: reserve/hibernate."

How to replenishing Yang? Here's how:
1️⃣Drink Ginger Power tea daily, especially in the morning. This will help all meridians move smoothly, and with the help of heat in nature, our Qi and blood will flow more efficiently, which will then smooth Qi flow and help Yang grow.

2️⃣Go to bed early and wake up early to absorb more yang. The summer months have the bright sunshine in the morning, and it is powerful for the body to experience that. Sun is the ultimate Yang, and receiving that sun is helpful is restoring yours.

3️⃣Stay away from air conditioning and direct contact from fans. Dress appropriately if your office is blasting AC to cover your neck and ankles. Don't have wet hair inside AC. The air conditioning closes all pores, so go outdoors when you get up early to let Yang come in naturally and comfortably.

4️⃣Incorporate light exercise such as Qigong, Yoga and Taichi in early summer mornings. You can simply move your body around with stretching. Light exercise will bring Yang into our body without consuming it.

5️⃣Try to accomplish your daily tasks before noon. This is the time you feel more productive as it mirrors the strength of the sun in its peak hours.

6️⃣Positive thinking and positive emotions to increase heart Yang and heart Qi. Avoid any unhappiness, agitation and have happy thoughts. See the good and learning in all situations. If you need help with emotional balance take Liver Recharge tincture or liver recharge. Also incorporate Schisandra tincture into your daily routine. This helps with smoothing Qi, balancing emotions and regulating body fluids. When you feel calm and peaceful, you don't feel hot and it will allow the Yang to stay within. Practice meditation or breath work when you have interference of emotions.

Be happy, build your Yang and be healthy!

Lily Choi1 Comment