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Energetics of Health & Healing

I am often asked how Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) is able to help treat a variety of health conditions such as autoimmune, hormonal issues, insomnia, and mental/emotional disorders, to name a few. My usual answer is that CCM is holistic in nature and therefore addresses the whole person rather than treating a disease or a label. It does so by balancing the person on all levels: mind, body, and spirit. The medicine is the vehicle that delivers the balancing act but it is the individual that “treats” the illness. In this article, we look at the energetic mechanism behind health and healing.

In order to understand the energetics of healing, we need to have a simplified model –  yin and yang polarities that most people have heard of but may not understand on a deeper level.
Yin is about being still, slow, calm, cool, rested, grounded; it represents night-time, darkness, the physical body, and the feminine energy. Yang is about being active, fast, ferocious, warm, energetic, and represents daytime, lightness, the spirit and the masculine energy. The yin and yang polarity is represented in every aspect of life, including human life and health.

In the body, just as in nature, heat (yang) rises and cold (yin) sinks to the bottom. The key to health and healing is, in a nutshell, to ensure that the rising heat or yang energy eventually gets a chance to descend, and that the sinking cool or yin energy also gets a chance to ascend to the top. When this flow and circulation is disrupted, too much yin accumulates in the lower parts of the body and too much yang congests in the upper parts of the body, leading to all manner of diseases. This circulation of yin and yang energy is most beautifully and symbolically portrayed by the classic diagram representing yin and yang as seen below.


The darker fish represents the yin energy; the bright fish the yang energy. There are no absolutes in life, therefore, within the yin energy, there is some yang, as represented by the little bright circle, or eye of the fish, and vice versa. In the diagram, yin and yang energies are in constant transformation and circulation. When this is disrupted, the energies begin to separate as the yang starts ascending to the upper parts and the yin descends down below. The separation of the yin and yang is the beginning of illness and, at the moment of death, this separation is complete as the yang energy (our spirit) completely detaches from the yin (our body). By virtue of being alive, this separation is happening on a continuous basis while at the same time the body tries to keep the yin/yang transformation alive in order for us to have a chance to fulfil our destiny.


The congestion of yang energy in the upper parts of the body manifests in the form of:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Tight/stiff neck and shoulders
  • High blood pressure, red face, red eyes, strokes.
  • Tinnitus
  • Acid refulux, GERD, belching
  • Anxiety, agitation, anger, frustration

Yin congestion in the lower parts manifest as:

  • Constipation, diarrhea
  • Gut issues of all kinds
  • Coldness and numbness in the feet/legs
  • Lower back issues, sciatic pain
  • Hormonal issues.
  • Fear, depression, emotional paralysis






In modern life, we tend to be in our heads most of the time as we ruminate on life and process all the non-stop information and stimuli that come at us. This means that there is a net upward flow of energy towards the head. Cognition requires energy and the source of this is in the lower parts of the body – that is, the gut, or the energetic core, which also includes the adrenals in the lower back. It is through the gut that we absorb nutrients from our food which then become the source of our energy for cognition. As the upward flow continues, the gut becomes overworked and weakened, and a weakened gut, core, or centre is the source of all manner of illnesses such as autoimmune disorders, hormonal issues, insomnia, cancers and other chronic health problems.

Some of the measures to take, to redirect the congested yang energy downward are:

  • Yoga, tai chi, meditation, and breathwork to help us reconnect with our bodies
  • Gardening, to help us connect with the ultimate source of yin energy, the earth
  • Walking barefoot in direct contact with the earth (when the weather is warm)
  • Cooking, which puts us in contact with the earth’s energy
  • Slowing down, which promotes restfulness and the yin energy
  • Switching off screens, which cuts out the non-stop yang energy stimulus
  • Spending more time in nature
  • Touching and massaging our feet to ground the energy
  • Avoiding multi-tasking which is a very heady process

As the stuck energies are redirected, we become calm and cool in the head and warm and strong in the core. This is the key for maintaining health and longevity.

Armin Madaninejad R.Ac

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