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Quite often in the East you will hear of the terms Yin and Yang. Taken literally, Yin means the dark side of the mountain and Yang means the bright side of the mountain. They represent the seemingly opposite states of life which interflow and eventually act to rebalance each other.
In practical terms, for example after a long hot summer which dries out the earth and consumes its nutrients, we need a cool wet winter to nourish the land and bring it back into a healthy state of balance for the next yearly cycle. Or in a person, after being active all day, the body needs to rest at night, to recuperate and restore itself for a fresh start the next day.
In nature after one state reaches its peak it generally starts to create the other. Night turns to day, heat turns to cold. Even molten lava eventually cools into hard cold stone. Everything ebbs and flows backwards and forwards in a state of constant change and mutual support. If it remains too hot such as in a dessert, or too cold such as in the arctic, then most living things cannot be sustained and life diminishes.
In the body it is the same. We can swing from one set of conditions into another. However if we stay too long in any extreme state we can start to damage ourselves. To stay healthy we need to keep everything in the middle, reasonably balanced. If we were to do something that pushes away from this state of balance then we often become ill.
For example, coffee, alcohol and spices all tend to create heat in the body. In wintertime when we are cold if we consume some of these we will heat up. This protects our bodies from the cold and brings them into a safe middle ground where everything is functioning the way it was intended to. These foods will actually help us, because too much cold would slow down our bodies and weaken them. However if it becomes quite hot in summer and we still consume these heating foods then we will find we begin to over heat on the inside. As the heat intensifies, it burns up the nutrients in the body and can start to badly damage cells leading to disease. Even too much sun in summertime often shows this as its intense heat can dry out and damage our skin, destroying cells and burning away nutrients.
To stay healthy we need to remain in the middle ground. Any extreme condition created in the body often causes ill health. Extremes can come from heat, cold, dryness or dampness and so on. They can be too much or too little of a substance or even the under or over functioning of organs.
Over time in this blog, I will discuss how to spot key signs of the body starting to go out of balance, and then provide information on how to rectify this. If you can catch these signs in their early stages, then you can quite easily reverse them, remain healthy and avoid any ills they would most likely lead to.
One very simple and easy way to rebalance our bodies is through our everyday foods. In the previous example of heat in summertime, you could alter this state by avoiding those heating foods and by introducing foods that create cold in our systems. ( Please note, when I talk of the temperature of foods here, I am not referring to the temperature they are consumed at, but to the heat or cold they produce after they interact with the cells in the body. )
In simplest terms, once you have figured out what’s gone wrong in your internal system, you basically need to do the opposite to fix it. Too much cold, then heat things up; too much stagnation, then get things moving; too toxic, then flush the body clean; and so forth.
Throughout your life you will find your body constantly changes. As you age and naturally slow down, your body will need to be readjusted. If you are working or exercising too much or too little, your background life needs to be changed. If you become stressed or emotional, changes in the background can again offset this and bring you back into balance.
In the winter cold, to avoid illness you instinctively are aware to put on extra clothes, perhaps a warm coat, hat and scarf. In summer heat, you know to wear the opposite, such as a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. With the right knowledge, you can learn how to balance the rest of your life as easily as you do your clothing for the weather. Through this, you will find you can successfully manage your body and avoid the states and conditions that will lead to and cause most sicknesses.
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