As life speeds up, Yin Deficiency (= empty yin) increases and we don’t notice. We think we’re digging for profit, but actually we’re digging ourselves deeper into a problem: the hole gets bigger and deeper!
But holes are empty and even if we eventually find the treasure, we may be so deep we can’t enjoy it.
For balance, you need enough yin and enough yang. Click here for more about the concept of Yin and Yang.
Keeping healthy is a balancing act between excess and deficiency. In the West, and increasingly in the East, we’re focused on acquiring riches. Obviously we need money, and too little of it is misery. But as your reserves of money increase, at what point will you feel comfortable that you have enough?
If you’re like most people, NEVER! You will never feel sure you have enough. So you keep digging, or worrying that you’re not digging enough, or not finding enough treasure, or not being paid enough to dig for someone else’s treasure.
Yin deficiency is an important syndrome in Chinese Medicine.
Western medicine hasn’t noticed it so far, though it is very commonly part of many Western defined diseases.
It is the experience of many practitioners of Chinese medicine that if you balance yin and yang, so clearing any yin deficiency, the disease disappears.
Here’s a link to our page on Reviews of our book Yin Deficiency – Burnout and Exhaustion – What to Do!
If you are Yin deficient, or suffering from Empty Yin (which means the same as Yin Deficiency), you’ll have some of the following symptoms:
You may also, in time, develop symptoms of Liver Yang excess, a syndrome often noticed in people with high blood pressure and frequent headaches.
That’s not all, because with these symptoms will almost certainly come one at least of the following, in due course:
Stomach Yin deficiency is often a problem! It represents what happens when your digestion, especially your stomach, can’t do its job. It lacks the fluids – acids and other fluids that protect the stomach’s lining – to be able to digest your food properly.
So it cannot replenish your reserves. With yin deficiency you’ve run out of reserves, so not having an effective stomach is definitely bad news!
(How do you know if you have Stomach Yin deficiency? The easiest do-it-yourself way is to examine your tongue, specifically its coating. If you have a patchy coating, or even no coating – it just looks like raw flesh – you probably do have Stomach yin deficiency. To get this better you MUST change your diet and eating habits or you’ll get more ill and become more susceptible to increasingly serious conditions. Click Stomach Yin deficiency for more.)
If you’ve read the causes of Yin Deficiency set out above (see more under yin deficiency causes), you’ll probably already know what you must do. Unless your problem came from fevers or inherited conditions, you have to learn to live a bit more slowly, to learn to enjoy life in the slower lane. Let your brain off the treadmill for a while!
That’s not so easy! When your job goes, or your profits evaporate, and you want to maintain your standard of living, you’re forced either to work harder or take a new job – if you can find one.
Then, until your new job position is confirmed by your employer, you have to strain for good performance results, excellent productivity, sales and profits.
Otherwise you must rely on your savings – if you have any.
Apart from getting treatment from someone who understands your situation and can help your body balance itself, you can almost certainly do some of the following:
Almost any gentle exercise is beneficial but probably walking is the simplest. A short walk, then a short doze, might be all you manage to start with! This is a lifestyle matter. Later …
This includes stimulants like coffee or containing caffeine, herbs like Chinese ginseng – ren shen – [some of my colleagues will disagree with me here! But ‘American’ ginseng – xi yang shen – radix panacis quinquefolii – is better for yin deficiency], and cuisines that are too heating such as curries and roasted meats. There’s more about coffee here. Actually coffee often helps people who are YANG deficient, a bit. But this drug is NOT for YOU, if you’re YIN deficient.
Reducing coffee intake leads to a more paced lifestyle.
Eat slowly, chewing well before swallowing. Don’t read or work while eating because habitually doing so eventually increases symptoms of empty yin. Again, this becomes a new lifestyle matter.
When you have this yin deficiency condition or ‘syndrome‘, your body lacks the resources it needs to power itself. So, many of your natural body functions that need time – like digestion – don’t work so well.
In turn, THAT means that you cope less well with eating the wrong diets or eating the wrong way. Check nutrition for more on this.
… as these tend to increase heat in your body. Being yin-deficient, your body is not good at coping with too much heat. In extreme it could increase fatigue. Don’t ignore this risk.
… because digesting cold or cold-type meals takes energy. You don’t have much of that either! So make sure what you eat or drink is warm to the touch. Cold foods can be another risk.
… which you should reduce – tends to be spicy or sweet and includes meat, especially when roasted or fried. Too much yang-type stuff also causes fatigue – in you!
… which may benefit you, tend to be bitter, salty or sour. Salty foods don’t necessarily taste salty! It’s the name given to a range of foods – I’ll put up a page about this soon. Sour means as in sourdough bread and fermented foods like sauerkraut etc. Take them cooked and warm where possible. Appendix 1 of my book on Yin Deficiency has over 8 pages of foods – nearly 200 of them – classified as to their actions.
Yin Deficiency recipes. These are dishes you can cook and which are broadly balanced to help people with Yin Deficiency. So far, there are a few fish and vegetable recipes, but we’ll be adding beef, more fish and other recipes soon.
Of course, consider acupuncture.
Your acupuncturist may be a fund of good advice as well as being able to re-set your body! (If he or she has no idea about which points to use, nudge him in the direction of our page on Kidney Yin deficiency, where we’ve put some suggestions for Kidney Yin Deficiency points.)
If you enjoyed this page, I hope you’ll also enjoy the book that I’ve written. It’s not too long, but packed with information for you if you have empty yin.
Through Amazon you can buy the softback edition, and since 2017 it’s been available in a re-formulated version for Kindle that is very much more accessible than the original (2014) version.
The book contains
Stay in Touch!
No spam, only notifications about new articles and updates.
Master Ancient Ways to Deal with Stress.
The Ancient Way to Deal with Burnout and Exhaustion.
Book a Video consultation if you want to know more about your symptoms
Incidentally, lack of good moisturising nutrition leads to Blood deficiency. With deficient Blood, you easily get Blood Stasis (https://www.acupuncture-points.org/blood-stasis.html) which can also lead to thicker, drier skin.
These aren’t listed as such in the literature, but one can surmise they might include symptoms or conditions like the following:
Check my collection of books:
Too much food with the Salty taste in Chinese medicine will make you ill. But you need some! Which foods do they mean?
The spicy taste in Chinese medicine adds lightness and energy to your diet, helping your lungs work better. You need some, but not too much!
Foods classified as having a sweet taste in Chinese medicine are vital for health. But too little or too much ‘sweet’ food leads to disease.
Taste in Chinese medicine describes, like short-hand, what foods and herbs can do for your health. Discover the right balance!
I have read so many content regarding the blogger lovers but this paragraph
is genuinely a fastidious paragraph, keep it up.
Thanks hgf – Yin deficiency is a big problem and growing bigger worldwide what with water shortages and global warming. For some of us during lockdown, it reflects perhaps a lack of resilience. We’ll have more on this anon. Best wishes Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott
Thank you for your website and for clearly explaining some difficulty concepts/theory. I would like to purchase your books but Amazon will not ship to Australia (& I’m not a fan of kindle or reading with a device). Is there a supplier in Australia you can direct me to?
We have an arrangement with a company called Ingram, (also trading as Lightning Source) who supply many booksellers around the world. I am emailing you separately about this. Best wishes Jonathan
In your book “Yin Deficiency”, on page 97, you said a small meal before sleep may help Yin- and Blood-deficient people. Can you tell me the reason/mechanism explaining that? By the way, your book is very helpful. Thank you.
With deficient Blood or Yin you are more likely to wake during the night, because Blood is the anchor or comfortable bed in which your Shen rests. If the bed is deficient, Shen cannot rest properly and wakes. A small meal (there are many kinds of such small meal: which is best for an individual depends on his upbringing, health knowledge and self-awareness) helps the body to maintain Blood quality through the night, helps the Shen to remain dormant.
Such a small meal should not include very yang-type food! So, no foods that heat or stimulate (for more, see hot foods). For example, no garlic, no coffee, hot spices and curries. It should be easily digestible, and be well chewed before swallowing. Reduce carbohydrates that burn up too fast: this includes refined white bread. For some, warm milk may suit, for others some nuts. Or try almond butter on rye-bread or an oatmeal biscuit – just some ideas.
Glad you like the book, and it’s been useful – thanks for letting me know!
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Subscribe to the Newsletter
If you are interested in understanding how Traditional Chinese Medicine can improve your life sign up to my newsletter for the latest updates.