Sorry to be boring, but 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.
Overwork is one of the main causes of this syndrome.
Prolonged Stress, over time, causes Yin deficiency.
Stress is such a big subject that I've written a book about it - 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress'. You can buy it to read on your Kindle. Or you can get it in softback to keep on your shelf (after reading!)
Basic Yin Deficiency Symptoms
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:
Dryness in your throat and/or mouth, often at night
Dryness in your skin
Perspiration at night, in your sleep, when there's no obvious reason for it
Noises in your ears: this is called 'tinnitus'
Tiredness leading quickly to exhaustion, though when you start doing something, or after a good sleep, you may think you have plenty of energy
Insomnia (either you can't get to sleep, or more likely you wake in the night for no obvious reason)
Lack of genital lubricating fluids
If Empty Yin goes on for too long, either your body will already be thin, or you will start losing weight
Sudden flushes of heat, as in the menopause: these flashes, flushes, or 'power surges' mean your symptoms are moving onto another stage, that of empty heat
Yin deficiency is frequently implicated in symptoms of infertility and sub-standard sperm
Tongue: no coating on the surface, and possibly red in colour
If you've read the causes of Yin Deficiency set out above, 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 how to enjoy life in the slower lane.
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
Otherwise you must rely on your savings - if you have any.
But you can do
some things for yourself.
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:
More sleep: get to bed early at least three times a week. By 'early' we mean actually be in bed by 10pm, and put the light out by 10.30pm. Then aim to get up after allowing 8 hours for sleep, even if you don't get 8 hours straight through. Also ... It won't hurt for you to retire to bed for several hours at weekends in the afternoon. You have to recharge your batteries!
And if you snore, see what can be done about it! Snoring means you are using up energy which should be used to help repair and rejuvenate your body. Click here for a page about snoring.
Learn how to meditate. (Opens in a new window.) Meditation is a technique (though it can become much more than just a technique!) for calming and steadying your mind.
Once learned, you can meditate while walking up and down in an airport
departure lounge, or on a railway station, or while waiting to pick up
your children from school.
Learn a simple form of exercise that
you can do daily. 60 years ago a Royal Canadian Air
Force physiotherapist designed a 10-minute exercise regime that all
its staff could do every day. (Click here for a downloadable pdf of its essentials.) It's got what you need, man
or woman, to keep fit without over-straining yourself. You work through it at your own speed.
Try to take a 20 minute walk every day, during
which you walk fast enough to get slightly out of breath, so that you
can only just carry on a conversation.
Avoid foods that may overstimulate your Yang energy. These include stimulants like coffee and those containing caffeine, herbs like Chinese ginseng, and foods 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 not you, if you're YIN deficient.)
Take time over meals. Eat slowly, chewing well before swallowing. Don't read or work while eating.
When you have this condition or 'syndrome', your body lacks the resources it needs to power itself. That can mean many of your natural body functions, like digestion, don't work so well.
In turn, THAT means that you cope less well with eating the wrong foods or eating the wrong way. Check nutrition for more on this.
But be cautious about COLD-type foods too, because digesting cold or cold-type foods takes energy. You don't have much of that either.
Don't eat large meals, or meals with alcohol, or drink alcohol, late in the evenings before bed. Everyone is different, but you should not rely on alcohol to help you sleep, because as your body metabolises it, it will create heat and prevent replenishing, restful sleep.
Also, eating a large meal when you are tired is a disaster for your yin-deficient body. It just hasn't got the energy for it.
Yin Deficiency recipes. These are dishes you can cook and which are broadly balanced to help people with Yin Deficiency. We hope you'll add your own suggestions to the recipes in due course. So far, there are a few fish and vegetable recipes, but we'll be adding beef, more fish and other recipes soon.
Don't take very vigorous exercise before going to bed. Leave at least 4 hours between finishing your exercise and going to bed.
Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine!
Four Reviews so far. (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.)
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