My Skill Level:
- Intermediate -
In the Neijing, the oldest
surviving Chinese medical classic, it talks about “The Great
Circuit”. That is not what I am talking about today. The Great
Yin and Yang Batteries
Essentially, our energy runs in a circuit of sorts, akin to a battery. In a battery, you have a positive side and a negative side. Electrons flow from negative to positive. That they flow is not the exciting thing. It is the playground through which they flow that defines the function of the circuit, whether a light, a computer, or a bug zapper.
The energy in our bodies also follows a circuit. That circuit is our experience of our bodies, minds, and spirits. The poles of the battery consist of Yin and Yang. Since Yang flows and Yin doesn't (all that much), we can say Yang moves through the circuit. This makes sense, given that when living things die, all the Yang stops moving and dead bodies become extremely cold and Yin. Thus, the circuit has been broken. If you are reading this, your circuit is humming right along. Merry days!
When we return to Heaven, Man, and Earth, we see that we have a Yang plane, that of Heaven. We have a Yin plane, that of Earth. Then we have that wonderful plane in-between, we call that Man. Man is a mixture of Yin and Yang.
In our analogy, Man is the circuit and Heaven and Earth are the negative and positive poles, respectively.
The Importance of the Man Circuit
The bottom line is simple, whatever happens on the Man plane is what we immediately experience. Heaven and Earth are energetic potentials, but Man is reality, in that you can have all kinds of problems in the Heaven and Earth planes and never notice them directly. But as soon as they leak into the Man pipes, all hell breaks loose because that is where they enter our human experience.
Regarding treatments, when you treat a problem, you want the treatment to last. You don't want it to be a short-term fix, you want a permanent one. Then again, when you experience an intense, acute problem, who cares about the future – you want relief right away.
For an acute problem and not a lot of time to deal with it, treat only the energy in the circuit, the Man level. For the quickest results, use the Perfusion technique in the next chapter.
Why Treat Heaven and Earth At All?
If you want a permanent fix, you need to address Heaven and Earth. To stop a recurring problem, you need to address the battery-pack, Heaven and Earth, and stop the future potential for the problem to manifest.
When it comes to people-batteries, you need to have a healthy balance between Yin and Yang. It is very easy to have a lop-sided battery for a variety of life-style and life experience reasons. However it happens, people sometimes have too much Yang and not enough comparable Yin, or vice versa. If there is too much Yang, the circuit heats up and the person becomes physically and emotionally hot. If there is relatively more Yin to Yang, the circuit cools down, and the person becomes physically and emotionally cold. If the circuit reverses itself with Yin on the Yang side and Yang on the Yin, the tissue turns off.
People find themselves in lop-sided states of varying nature most of the time. But our larger imbalances are never so obvious to us as short term, acute imbalances. You may work too hard one day and get exhausted (low Yang) only to recover the next day. So, it is a common phenomenon for the circuit to become completely out of whack because of uneven flows of Yin and Yang. You can end up with too much Yang in one location of the body and too much Yin in another relatively quickly and unexpectedly.
Disease is the manifestation of Yin and Yang imbalances as they manifest in the circuit. Given that Yin and Yang combine into the Five Elements, the possible combinations of imbalances is quite large and challenging. The goal of treatment is to identify where in the circuit there is imbalance, what type of imbalance exists, and what form of intervention is needed to return the circuit to balance.
Early levels of Fu Xi Wen are quite simple in that you only need to focus on the manifesting problem as defined by the tissue that is diseased. Local treatments don't require a vast storehouse of information, whereas to treat the circuit effectively, you need to understand the circuitry.
Yin and Yang Migration Patterns
As I mentioned, often Yin and Yang finds itself in entirely wrong sides of the circuit. Because of the ebb and flow of our energy, Yin can find itself in the Heaven plane and Yang in the Earth plane. Yin in Heaven strongly decreases the potential for energy to flow through the circuit and causes fatigue and pain. This creates a condition of Yang deficiency. A common cause for Yin in the Yang plane is a physical trauma.
Yang that enters the Earth plane is called Yin deficiency. Heat smolders in place unable to escape. As a result, it starts to push the Yin out of the Heaven plane into the Man level and eventually into the Heaven level. If it pushes this far, you have a completely wrong-sided battery with Yang in Earth and Yin in Heaven. In most tissues this can be a very bad thing – and yet common enough as people age. A common cause for Yin deficiency is working too hard or having intense emotions. (As an aside, this wrong-sided battery is exactly what happens for Estrogen during menopause).
As I said, when problems exist in the battery, you don't notice them until they spill over into the Man level. But that does not mean they are unimportant. Every chronic disease exists in either or both Heaven and Earth. If you remain in the lower Fu Xi Wen skill levels, you only treat the heads of problems as they appear. But to tear a problem out by its roots, you need to learn to look deeper. We will do this in the Advanced level.
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