Living in Toronto, everyone is some kind of Yang deficient. Now the temperature is dropping, and we are having more and more dark overcast days in Toronto. The nature's Yang energy is decreasing. Comparing to the warm summer, during winter months more people are experiencing depression and pain, seeking help from acupuncture. Some patients complain that their pain become especially unbearable at night. That's because during the night time, Yang energy is even less than during the day time and Yin energy increases at night, which worsens the pain.
The Sun is the biggest source of Yang in the nature. Think about those hidden damp areas without exposure to the sun all year around, mildew and bacteria grow. The same idea applies to human bodies. When Yang is deficient and Yin becomes relatively excess, which constricts blood circulation (put it in a simple way) and can lead to many mild or severe disorders.
-When Yang energy can't reach the distal ends, we have cold hands and feet.
-When Yang energy is not sufficient enough to facilitate water metabolism, we have swollen feet and legs.
-Big tummy and thick adipose tissue are just some other common manifestations of lacking of good Yang.
-When it comes to internal organs, when the Heart Yang is deficient, suppression and pain of the chest might be experienced.
-When Liver Yang is not sufficient, depression appears.
-When Spleen Yang is not good, lacking of appetite, nausea, loose stool or diarrhea can happen.
-When Lung Yang is weak, one feels short of breath, weak breathing, coughs with foamy clear sputum.
-When there is not enough Kidney Yang, which many people experience, one has lower back soreness , weak , cold and achy knees, frequent urination...
-Many women of reproductive age have "cold uterus" (literal translation from Chinese) and can't conceive. This is lacking of Yang energy in uterus. This type of women usually have cold hands and feet, experience camping pain before or during the menstruation. In the clinic, the use of moxibustion is very helpful in facilitating pregnancy.
-Tumor or cancer are the severe form of "deficient Yang and excess Yin".
Yang is the life force of all metabolism and biological functions, and it is the decisive factor of human reproduction, development, aging and death. There are two parts of Yang energy. The prenatal part comes from your parents and the postnatal part mostly comes from food. If you eat cold foods everyday, taking much medication, you tend to get Spleen Yang deficient. Spleen Yang deficiency might lead to Kidney Yang deficiency in the end. Ask me what are considered as "cold foods" according the Traditional Chinese Medicine" ;) It could be very different or opposite to your North American healthy diet ideas.
More examples. Going out in short skirt on cold days like now damages Yang energy. Frequent sex, staying up late cause Yin deficient in the beginning, then after a while, it drags the Yang to become deficient too.
Along the natural aging of our body, our body's Yang energy decreases naturally . Therefore in winter, older people feel particularly difficult because the nature's excessive Yin stresses the body more. Acupuncture may help with your symptoms such as pain or depression; however in order to stay healthy, it is crucial for you to protect your Yang as if you were protecting a candle flame from being blown by the wind. Keeping warm, eating warm, leading a healthy lifestyle is what you can do daily. In the clinic, we supplement Yang energy with moxibustion, heating lamp etc. Proper amount of exercise can help bring out the Yang energy too.