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Yin and yang - Ethnoscience Glossary Terms and Abbreviations
In Daoist philosophy, any change can be explained in terms of the interaction between two opposite forces, yin and yang, that make up the whole individual or object. Yin and yang are neutral terms that are used to describe any pair of opposites, such as hot and cold, hard and soft, male and female. The vital energy, qi, is thought to be generated through the interaction between yin and yang. Changes in the proportion of yin and yang, and the attraction between these forces is said to create motion and energy. Yin and yang are not absolutes. No thing remains completely yin or yang forever. The correct balance between yin and yang is necessary to maintain health. Illness is thought to occur when these two forces are out of balance. Conditions caused by excessive yang and deficient yin (for example, too much heat and not enough cooling) are treated with yin or cooling herbs and other therapies such as acupuncture to restore the balance of yin and yang. Yin is associated with qualities such as cold, wet, rest, responsiveness, passivity, negative, darkness, inwardness, downwardness, and decrease. In Chinese herbal medicines, Yin herbs are said to have cooling, damping and calming properties. Yang is associated with qualities such as heat, dry, stimulation, movement, activity, positive, excitement, vigor, light, the exterior, upwardness, outwardness, and increase. In Chinese herbal medicine, Yang herbs are said to have warming, drying and stimulating properties.