Yin and Yang

What does the Yin and Yang symbol mean and how does it relate to our bodies and Chinese medicine?

The Yin and Yang symbol is a lens to understand the dynamics of the internal body and how it relates to the outside world.

Within Yin, there is Yang. Within Yang, there is Yin. Without the other, one cannot exist.

These two forces drive everything we know. They are not opposing, but instead opposites that are interrelated and synergistic.

So how does this theory relate to Chinese medicine?

Let’s have a look at what Yin and Yang can represent:


  • Form
  • Black
  • Cooling
  • Winter
  • Blood
  • Fluids
  • Earth
  • Night
  • Inside


  • Function
  • White
  • Warming
  • Summer
  • Energy
  • Heaven
  • Day
  • Outside

As these interdependent opposing forces are in constant flux, they become the guiding elements for imposing change in the body. External and internal factors play a role in affecting the levels of the Yin and Yang aspects of the body. By understanding and directing change, we can achieve equilibrium and foster better well-being.

When formulating acupuncture treatments and herbal medicine formulas, these are the things we look at:

  • Is one element is stronger or weaker than another?
  • How it is having an effect on your body – what symptoms is it causing?
  • How are these symptoms related to other symptoms or imbalances in the body?
  • What is the most powerful and efficient approach to regulating the imbalance?

As a Chinese medicine practitioner, I study to not only understand Yin and Yang in the body but also to recognise and respond to it. The Yin and Yangs in nature teaches us to better understand the dynamics in our bodies, the interrelatedness of symptoms, systems, function, and form within the body. This drives us to aim for balance internally and externally, and motivates myself to practice with attention and care.

Michelle McNeill
Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Yin and Yang

Book an appointment with Michelle today!

Published on June 26, 2024