In Traditional Chinese Medicine, disease is an imbalance of the qi (life force), the xue (blood) or the jinye (body fluids or organs). Problems in these systems arise from a disharmony of yin or yang. Yin and yang represent two abstract and complementary forces that everything in the known universe, including people, can be divided into.
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When it comes to health, yin and yang imbalances, whether deficient or in excess, present themselves in many ways. Examples of excess and deficiency symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Yin deficiency symptoms: heat/dry sensations, possible night sweats, insomnia, dry pharynx, dry mouth, dark urine, a red tongue with scanty coat and a “fine” and rapid pulse.
- Yin excess symptoms: profuse, thick phlegm, poor circulation, no appetite, tired even after rest, cold, purplish tongue and slow pulse.
- Yang deficiency symptoms: aversion to cold, cold limbs, bright white complexion, long voidings of clear urine, diarrhea, pale and enlarged tongue and a slightly weak, slow and “fine” pulse
- Yang excess symptoms: red eyes and face, strong/loud cough, large appetite and thirst, restless, hot, anxious, red tongue with yellow coat and a rapid, strong pulse.
The above mentioned symptoms, along with others, are taken into consideration when an acupuncturist does tongue and pulse diagnosis. This is done to better determine the correct acupuncture points on the body in which to insert a needle or which herbs to recommend in effort to restore balance to the patient’s life forces.
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