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  • Writer's pictureRichard Lai

#63 - Chinese Medicine Basics of Yin and Yang Excess and Deficiency

Updated: Jan 27

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Transcript of Episode

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:00:00]:

Everyone. Welcome back to the channel. Happy new year to you. Welcome back to study acupuncture with me. If this is your first time here, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Richard. I'm a doctor of physical therapy, and I'm an acupuncturist. What do I do? I make acupuncture educational content that's easy to digest so that you can Prepare for the board exam, and you can feel really confident in your clinical skills when you go into the real world.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:00:23]:

If you're subscribed to my newsletter, you would have heard that I am now the father of Two kids. So we had our 2nd child right before Christmas, which that was just the best present that you could really ever ask for. And so That means that right now, my wife and I were in the trenches with a baby boy, and this baby boy just loves to eat. It's actually the complete Opposite experience that we had when we had my daughter. Because with her, every time we went to the doctor, we were really anxious because the doctor would say, Oh, she's not gaining enough weight. You need to feed her more. But with this guy, he's eating every 2 Ours, he's already outgrowing his newborn clothes, and he's really, really just testing the stretch of his newborn diapers. So we're probably gonna upgrade him to size 1 diapers really soon.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:01:11]:

So what I wanna say is just thank you all for the wonderful emails, the wonderful comments, and the prayers. My wife is recovering really well. Everyone's healthy. Everyone's happy, and I sincerely wish the same for each and every one of you. I hope that this new year is bringing you all the blessings, and I hope that you're happy and that you have a wonderful new year. Alright. So now what is Today's topic so today's topic is on yin and yang, excess and efficiency. Now this is actually a direct request from someone named Michelle on Instagram.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:01:41]:

Michelle sent me a DM. It said hello. Thank you for your videos, and do you have one regarding yin and yang excess and deficiency? I could use some help. Thank you heart. Now I actually want to thank you, Michelle, for sending me a DM about this because The topic of yin yang theory is really important, and it's a foundational topic that you can find everywhere with your evaluations, with your treatments, and, honestly, you can find it everywhere in life too. All these principles that yin yang theory have, you can find in relationships between people, You can find in the day, in the night, the hour, in the minutes, the time, you can find it everywhere. So what Michel is specifically asking about It has to do with the 4 aspects of yin yang theory. And these 4 aspects of yin yang theory are, number 1, there is the opposition of yin and yang.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:02:32]:

Number 2, there's the interdependence of yin and yang. Number 3, which is what Michelle is talking about, there's the mutual consumption of yin and yang. And then number 4, there's the inter transformation of yin and yang. So with aspect number 1, aspect number 1 is that there's this opposition of yin and yang. Now everything in the world contains some sort of aspect of yin and yang. Nothing in this world though is absolutely yin or absolutely yang, but it's a cycle basically where yin and yang, they lead to each other and they're constantly balancing each other. So for example, like day and night. Daytime comes.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:03:10]:

It's sunny. Day is yang. Nighttime comes. Night is dark. It's yin. They are basically in opposition to each other. They're Opposite ends of a 24 hour cycle where day is gonna turn into night, night is gonna turn into day. Now in each of those phases, there's still aspects of each Other there.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:03:29]:

So, like, as it gets darker, for example, you still see light from the day. So that's opposition. Aspect number 2 is the interdependence of yin and yang. Now what that means is that they depend on each other because they can't exist without each other. For example, we literally have the word day only because we have the word night and if we didn't have night, then we wouldn't have the word day. They don't exist without the other And then aspect number 3, which is what Michelle is asking about, is that there's this mutual consuming when it comes to yin and yang. And so what does this mutual even mean? So mutual is a word that you use to describe some sort of situation or some sort of feeling or even an action where 2 people or 2 things, they both experience the same thing. So for example, marriage.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:04:16]:

There's mutual love there. There's mutual support. There's mutual trust. So these 2 people experience the same thing. Now with yin and yang, they both consume each other. And that's because yin and yang are Honestly, trying to balance each other, and they're adjusting themselves to find some sort of proportional balance. And according to Chinese medicine, there's Four states of imbalance with yin and yang, just like how water has 3 states. Water can be liquid.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:04:43]:

It could be gas. It could be solid. And if you wanna be fancy, you can say that water can also be plasma, which is the 4th state. But with yin and yang, there are 4 states of imbalance. Now these 4 states of imbalance are, number 1, the preponderance of yin, number 2, the preponderance of yang, Number 3, the weakness of yin, and then number 4, the weakness of yang. Now to understand these 4 states of imbalance, we have to understand 2 things. Number 1, we have to understand that these diagrams that I'm showing you here, there is this homeostatic line. That homeostatic line is your North Star for whether there's an excess or a deficiency.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:05:26]:

So that's point number 1. Point number 2 that we have to understand is that for each of these states, we have to figure out, first, what is the primary reason that this state even came about and what secondary cause is happening as a result of that primary reason. So first, let me explain the homeostasis line. So this line is basically your patient's natural resting state, and in a perfect world where everything's perfect, Your patient lives a monk style life in the mountains. They're untouched by social media. They spend every 2nd of the day and every breath meditating and working towards balance. In that case, maybe their yin and yang will be perfectly equal and at the line of homeostasis. All we know that this is virtually impossible And that there's this dynamic relationship between yin and yang because yin and yang is constantly moving, consuming, adjusting to find some sort of a new balance or at the very least live in one of these states of imbalance.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:06:25]:

So that's the line that you see here in each of these Four states. Now the other thing that we have to understand is that in each of these 4 states, we have to understand what's the primary reason that this state even came about because with this primary reason, it's gonna cause a secondary result. And it's just a simple matter of understanding whether it's an Excess condition that's causing the problem or whether it's a deficiency condition that's causing the problem. Now that can be a hard subject to grasp at first, but one really simple example of this is just to think about someone who has dry lips. Me, for example, I have dry lips. So the state is dry lips. Now we have to ask ourselves, what is the primary reason for the dry lips? So on one hand, it could be that the patient, me, Isn't hydrating themselves, so I'm not hydrating myself enough. So I'm deficient in hydration, so that's deficiency.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:07:21]:

Now on the other hand, I could be exposing myself to heat. Maybe I'm out in the sun. Maybe I'm exercising a lot, and I'm sweating out all my water. Maybe I did hot yoga. I did not. And I sweat out all of my water. So what happens, I have dry lips. So the first one, the dry lips are caused by a deficiency, so the patient is just straight up deficient in hydration.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:07:42]:

The second one, the dry lips are caused by an excess cause. I exercised too much. I did not. I was in the hot sun too much. I was not. Now to take this even a step further, we can define that whatever's going on like this: When yin or yang goes into excess, it's gonna cause a consumption of the other. So for example, if yang goes into excess, It's gonna consume yin, which is exactly what's happening in the patient who exercises too much or they're in the hot sun too much. Yang is excess or yang is preponderant, and what's gonna happen is it's gonna cause a consumption of yin.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:08:23]:

In this case, water is yin. And now this is why I said before that everything in this world has these aspects of yin and yang. If you look outside and you see a puddle of water on the ground and the sun is beating down on it, yang is the excess, the sun is excess And what's happening to the water? The water is gonna evaporate. So yang excess causes the yin, the water, to be consumed. Alright. So now that we understand that more, let's go into each of these 4 states starting with excess yin and excess yang So on the screen here on the left side I have here the case of preponderance of yin in other words, an excess of yin Now in this case, you see the yin bar, the Bu bar, has gone above the homeostatic line Now with an excess of yin, what's gonna happen? This excess of yin is gonna secondarily consume yang. So that's the reason for yang being below the homeostasis line. The yin is consuming the yang.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:09:22]:

So an example of this is like a patient who's exposed to cold temperatures. The cold is gonna invade. It's gonna eat up all the heat, So the patient's gonna experience full cold symptoms. You could think about this like a room. Now the temperature of the room is cold. Now you ask yourself, why is the temperature of the room cold? Is it because there's an air conditioner that's blasting cold air into the room? Or is it because the heater is broken or the heater is not strong enough? So if the air conditioner is blasting cold air into it and the room is cold, That's an example of excess yin, and that excess yin is consuming all the warmth that's in the room. Now if the heater's off or the heater is broken and it's not Heating enough, then that would be a yin yang state of weakness of yang. Now that's this diagram here.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:10:12]:

So in this diagram, Both blue bars, they're under the homeostatic line so neither yin or yang are actually in true excess because they're not above the line, but you can see one of them is more than the other. Now if we look at the picture on the left side, the yinbar is more or Apparently Moore versus Yang. This is just like the example of the cold room. Now the heater being off or the heater being Broken or weakened would be a yin yang state of weakness of yang, which is this diagram right here. Now with this diagram, Both blue bars are under the homeostatic line, so neither yin or yang are actually in true excess. But you can see, though, that one is in fact more than the other. So that means it's an apparent excess, not that it's a true excess. Now this is just like the example of the cold room that we were talking about before.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:11:07]:

That room is cold because there's a heater that's off or the heater is weak, So there's a lack of heat resulting in an apparent excess of or this apparent excess of cold. So it's not true excess. It's not an air conditioner that's blasting cold air in. So the yin bar isn't above the homeostatic line, But in this case, there's a deficiency of yang. There's a lack of heat that's being produced, which is why there's this apparent excess of yin. We can also term this as yang deficiency or a weakness of yang that's resulting in or secondarily resulting in an apparent excess of yin. And then in our last example here, we have pretty much the same situation where we have yin being less than yang. Now this yin is not less than yang because yang is excess because you can see the blue line for yang is not going above the homeostatic line.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:12:04]:

But in this case yin is deficient and yang is in what's known as apparent excess, so the question then becomes Why has yin become deficient? Now an easy example of this is just to look at ourselves because we can become yin deficient If we are first chi efficient, an example of this is working a 9 to 5 job, studying for school, taking tests, Classes, studying, then going home to our kids and doing everything that our family needs of us. And then while we're doing all of that, we're trying to maintain a healthy diet. We're trying to sleep 8 hours and is that happening? Most likely not. So then what happens what happens is we become chi deficient and because we're not replenishing our qi fast enough, our body is going to tap into an alternative energy source which is yin and then over time, what happens? We become yin deficient. Alright. So that's yin and yang excess, and that's yin and yang deficiency, which That brings us to the end of this 1st episode of 2024. And here, I'll remind you to sign up for my email list. When you're on my email list, you get A fun newsletter that has handy tips on studying, you get study guides, and you just hear more about me.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:13:16]:

So to sign up for that, go to WWW.STUDYACUWITHME.COM A pop up's gonna come up, and you can enter your email address, and you'll be signed up. So until next time, everyone. God bless, and happy

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