The Concept of Yin and Yang

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by Victoria A. Liotta, DAc, LMT

Like other cultures, the ancient Chinese used what they observed in nature to explain daily life. The cycle of sunlight turning to darkness each day is the basis of yin and yang theory. Yin was assigned to darkness, while yang was assigned to daylight. If we look at the popular yin-yang symbol, we see yin, which is represented by the black, turning into yang, which is the white. Night becomes day and day becomes night.           

Yin is static, dark, cold, heavy and nourishes the body. This description comes together as we envision the night with its darkness, less activity and cooler temperatures. Some examples of things that are more yin in nature are water and the moon. In contrast, yang is active, warm, light and bright. The sun and fire are more yang than yin. Everything and everybody are a mix of yin and yang.

In regard to the body, if there is a decrease or deficiency in the cooling yin, one may feel hot and/or dry. This concept is illustrated as women age. Females tend to decrease in yin, experiencing hot flashes, night sweats and dry skin. Men can become yin deficient also, and both men and women are subject to yang deficiency with aging. Symptoms of yang deficiency are related to feeling cold, but also include fatigue, low libido and low back pain. Acupuncturists are able to manipulate the body’s qi (vital energy) and harmonize yin and yang to eliminate unwanted symptoms.

Victoria A. Liotta, DAc, LAc, LMT, is a doctor of acupuncture at Inner Source Health. As an acupuncturist and massage therapist, she has experience treating headaches and body pain. In addition, she frequently treats people with anxiety and depression. For more information, call 631-421-1848 or visit

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