Taking care of Yin and Yang, a popular topic in Chinese medicine

„Take care of Yang in spring and summer, and take care of Yin in autumn and winter” is from the book named “Su Wen”. Su Wen was written more than two thousand years ago, and it is the most important book about the basic theory of traditional Chinese medicine.

According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, Yang-Qi recovers in spring, and flourishes in summer; Yin-Qi restrains the nature in autumn, and make everything hide in winter. The principle of keeping health is to follow the changes of nature.

However, how to take care of Yang in spring and summer, and take care of Yin in autumn and winter? It is a question.

Wang Bing was a famous author who wrote annotations to Su Wen in the Tang Dynasty. About this question, he said, “In spring we eat cool food and in summer we eat cold food, in order to take care of Yang. In autumn we eat warm food and in winter we eat hot food, in order to take care of Yin.” His opinion is like parents treating a child. Following the nature of a child does not mean indulging him.

Zhang Jingyue, a Chinese doctor who lived in the Ming Dynasty, had another idea. Yin is rooted in Yang, and Yang is rooted in Yin. So in the opinion of Zhang Jingyue, in spring and summer taking care of Yang is for the better status of Yin in autumn and winter; in autumn and winter taking care of Yin is for the better status of Yang in spring and summer.

When I was a college student, I had a different idea. When Yang flourishes in summer, people like to eat ice cream and stay in a room with cool air. People may like to sleep outside on summer nights. The Yang of the human body may be hurt by pathogenic cold and pathogenic dampness. This is why we should take care of Yang. When Yin dominates the nature in winter, people like to eat hot food. People may eat a lot of roast meat near the fire. The Yin of the human body may be hurt by pathogenic heat and pathogenic dryness. This is why we should take care of Yin.

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