Yin and Yang
The Yin-Yang cosmology is an ancient Chinese mode of thought dating back to the 3rd Century BC. Although Chinese in origin, it now forms the basis of many Asian healing arts. The philosophical system describes how the force from heaven yang and the earthly force yin are attracted to one another in a complementary yet antagonistic relationship. The universe and all individuals in it are in a state of equilibrium between these two forces. Yin energy is associated with cooling, softness, slowness, moisture, tranquility, gentleness, and nighttime. Yang energy is associated with heating, hardness, rapidity, dryness, excitation, aggression, and daytime. Yin and yang are relative descriptions: a piece of wood may be harder and have more yang energy than a piece of paper, but it would be describes as more yin than a piece of steel.
The Five Transformations of Energy (Wu Xing)
In traditional Chinese philosophy, natural phenomena are also classified within the five transformations or ‘phases’ of energy (chi). Using the metaphor of the five elements (water, tree, fire, earth and metal), this cycle describes how chi constantly changes state and repeats its movements throughout the days, seasons and years. The five elements have corresponding meridians and organs which may experience imbalance and affect a person’s health and well-being. The movements and transformations of chi affect people differently, and by understanding how it affects you can help to restore balance to your life.