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This Lesser Yin stage, (also called the Shao Yin stage) as disease tramples over your body's defences on its way to the core, is one of the Six Stages of Disease, described 1800 years ago by Zhang Zhong Jing.
Far from being mythical hocus-pocus, his prescriptions are used by practitioners of Chinese medicine the world over, to this day.
In Chinese medicine, the Shao Yin level involves the Heart and the Kidney energy organs (zang-fu organs).
You will realise that when a disease penetrates to this level, it becomes potentially serious.
Mainly this involves first the Kidney, but because Kidney and Heart have a special balancing relationship in Chinese medicine, if one is long affected, after a while, so will be the other.
Fortunately, modern medicine is good at keeping us alive, but even so, when your body is being kept alive at this level, its energy is frail and susceptible to potentially life-threatening developments from adverse circumstances.
Lesser Yin stage (Shao Yin stage) symptoms come in two forms:
Both mean that at this lesser yin stage your body's ability to regulate its reaction to cold and heat is severely compromised.
(Compromised? What does this little word mean? It's much used by medical professionals to mean something terrible might happen to you and now they've told you they're not responsible: "you're gonna die, so there". Well, take heart. The ancient Chinese offer hope!)
The aim is to 'expel' the cold and to strengthen, or warm, the Yang.
An acupuncturist might use the following points with moxa: Bl23, K3 and 7, Ren4, Ren6 and Ren8, St36, Du20 (to pull up the Yang). However, see an professional for this treatment. It needs to be adapted to your particular needs.
The classical herbal recipe is Si Ni Tang. However, this contains aconite which is banned in some countries. If so your herbalist will have to use a milder recipe. Chinese ginseng might be used.
At this stage, you will not really be up to doing much for yourself.
The aim in this Lesser Yin stage is to nourish, or support, your Yin energy and thereby to cool the heat and calm the Shen (your 'spirit').
The main herbal recipe for this is Huang Lian E Jiao Tang.
Of course, it is possible to 'acquire' Kidney Yin and Kidney Yang deficiencies in other ways than from invasion of Cold. As you age, you get Kidney deficiency.
Indeed, one might say that by definition as Kidney Qi diminishes over time, you age, although there are other factors involved in aging, such as Blood stasis.
However, when you reach the Lesser Yin stage as a result of invasion of Cold, you will be in a serious condition.
From Cold invasion, this stage could be reached by a child, an old person, or by a healthy 20-year old, because Cold can kill.
Cold demolishes your Yang energy. If I were stuck, with few clothes, inside an icebox, I would quickly reach this Lesser Yin stage, probably without many or any of the intervening stages. If you are younger than me, fitter than me, stouter and stronger constitutionally than me, you might take longer.
But if the cold didn't let up, you too would arrive at the same predicament, probably that of Kidney Yang deficiency, pretty soon.
Neither the Yang deficiency nor the Yin deficiency stage on this page is indicative of a long and happy life. You do need good treatment.
Since the Kidney supports the Heart, the Heart energy can fail, either by going too fast, or by going too slowly to keep going.
Your doctor would probably prescribe a number of different treatments, to calm you, to steady your heart-beat and control your blood pressure.
He's probably not as good as Chinese medicine at controlling your Kidney deficiency, however, that being your fundamental problem.
What are The Six Stages as Cold penetrates?
Note that this is not the order mostly used since antiquity, but makes more sense to me. For nerds, I'm with Giovanni Maciocia on this one.
If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.
If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.
Please note! The Kindle editions are less easy to read! Although the paper editions cost more, they are much easier to read and to refer back and forth to the contents and index.
Here are some of the books Jonathan has written:
Still only one comment, though personally I think this is my best book so far.
Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine!
No comments yet: just published. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)
3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!
By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.
NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.
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