Take the Yin/Yang TEST

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is governed by a balance between yin (cooling energy) and yang (fiery energy). When these two polarities become unbalanced, there are a variety of different patterns that can manifest depending upon the individual constitution of that particular person. Which one are you?

Qi Deficient (Energy Deficient): Do you constantly feel tired and weak? Are you experiencing slight shortness of breath? Do you tend to have a weak and quiet voice? Do you ever notice yourself starting to sweat spontaneously? Do you have a poor appetite?

If so:

Your body is completely tuckered out. This is a common pattern following sickness or recurrent infections when one has had to take a few rounds of antibiotics.

To get you healthy again, first things first… we need to boost your immune system so that you are no longer prone to catching colds, flu’s and/or infections. Secondly, we need to get your body to produce more energy, and that means using acupuncture points which pump up the body’s ability to make fresh blood and body fluids. We do this by strengthening the Spleen (which produces your blood) and the Lungs (which governs your immunity).

Qi Stagnation: Do you have a feeling of distension (bloating and or/constriction) in the stomach or ribcage? Do you often find yourself depressed, irritable or experience frequent mood swings? Do you sigh a lot? Do you have pain that wanders its way around your body?

If so:

Things are stuck and not flowing along very smoothly in your body, be it your emotions, your digestion, your blood flow or your nervous system.

To treat you we will be focused on moving qi (energy) and blood to create a smooth flow within your body. By choosing points along the Liver and Gallbladder meridian, we are able to “un-clog” any areas of stagnation. We see stagnations of qi, blood, body fluids, dampness and/or phlegm.

Blood Deficiency (aka: Anemia): Do you have a dull, white or sallow complexion? Often feel dizzy? Do you have a poor memory? Do you experience numbness or tingling, blurred vision or insomnia? Do you have pale/dry lips?  Is your period scanty or do you have amenorrhea (missing periods)? Do you have depression or slight anxiety?

If so:

Obviously, we need to get your body producing more blood! To treat you, we focus our efforts on strengthening the Spleen (as it produces blood) and the Liver (which stores and disperses the blood in the body). By enhancing the strength of these two organ systems, we will create a significant difference in both the volume and quality of the blood.  It is also very important that you make sure you are getting enough healthy protein in your diet.

Yang Deficiency: Are you constantly exhausted and feel like you are dragging around your heavy, tired limbs? Do you have poor circulation with freezing hands and cold feet? Do you find that you are always trying to warm up or put on extra layers of clothing? Do you prefer hot drinks? Are you prone to anxiety or panic attacks? Are you constantly running to the bathroom to pee? If so, is your urine profuse and clear? Do you have diarrhea often?

If so:

You are lacking heat in your body, slowing down your metabolism, your circulation, your drive and your zest for life! Fluids and foods just run through you, as your body has no real heat to properly stimulate digestion and you can often feel fearful as the lack of motive force in your body keeps you feeling stuck in bad patterns. We treat you by increasing your yang (your fiery energy) to warm your body, as well as use heavy moxa (a warming technique) to speed up the functioning of your entire system. This pattern is often associated with adrenal insufficiency or hypothyroidism.

If so:

Yin Deficiency: Do you have a rosy flush to your cheeks? Do you experience spontaneous sweating or night sweats? Do you get sweaty on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet? Do you often feel hot in the afternoon? Do you get dizzy? Do you have a dry mouth or are you thirsty often? Do you feel mentally restless, have insomnia or experience anxiety?

You have what we call “empty heat” in your body. It’s not considered true heat (or yang heat) as it’s not so much a powerful blast of hot, but rather tiny bursts. In order to treat you, we need to increase your yin energy (cooling energy), increase blood production (a yin substance) and increase body fluids (also a yin substance). Working to balance the hormone and thyroid systems are very important, as well as regulating metabolism.  This pattern often manifest as menopause or hyperthyroidism.

Excess of Yang: Do you often feel like you are over-heating? Are you thirsty all the time? Is your urine usually dark? Do you experience constipation? Do you get pounding headaches or high-pitched tinnitus (ringing in the ears)? Are you prone to angry outbursts? Do you often have a red complexion?

If so:

You are like over-powered heater! To treat you we need to drain the heat that so easily rises up to your surface (including your emotions!) We do this by applying points to release heat from the body and that will increase your yin (cooling energy) and your body fluids. We also recommend avoiding overly spicy and/or greasy foods, too much red meat and over-consumption of alcohol.

Excess of Yin: Your energy levels are fine, but you feel very cold all the time. You have no real desire to drink any liquids, especially cold water. You are constantly running to the washroom to pee and your urine is clear and profuse. You wake up with phlegm in your throat. You experience severe stabbing pain, especially when it gets cold outside. You have a tendency to eat and drink cold, raw foods and liquids and consume lots of dairy or dairy substitutes (especially ice cream, as it is both cold and sticky!)

If so:

This pattern means that you have an excess of body fluids and cold, while you do not have enough heat in your body to move things along in the rightful fashion.

We would treat you by expelling cold and using moxa (a heating technique) to make sure that those extra fluids do not turn into internal dampness or phlegm, which clogs and slows down the body and the mind. Avoid dairy (all except yogurt) and eat warm, drying foods such as barley, millet, amaranth, rice and oatmeal.

Dampness and Phlegm: Do you wake up with a lot of phlegm in your throat or nose? Do you bring up phlegm following an intense workout? Does your body feel heavy like sand? Does your mind feel foggy? Are you prone to cysts, acne, nodules or lumps and bumps throughout your body? Do you get a lot of recurrent yeast infections, athlete’s foot or jock itch?

If so:

Your body is being “clogged” by internal dampness and/or phlegm. This often happens when the body does not have enough heat to properly burn off the excess body fluids, leaving them to sit, stagnate and then eventually turn to dampness and/or phlegm.

To remove dampness and prevent phlegm from forming in the body, we choose points to warm the body, rev up the metabolism and repair the adrenal glands. Often times with this pattern we see either generalized, systemic inflammation and/or an auto-immune disorder. In this circumstance, reducing the inflammatory response is crucial!

We also recommend to avoid “damp” foods such as dairy (all expect yogurt), sweets, starchy carbs and alcohol.

It is more common than not for there to be one, two or sometimes three or four patterns mixed together, although typically one or two will dominate an individual’s particular constitution. While it is rare for an individual to match each and every symptom of one particular pattern, it only takes a few symptoms to make a solid diagnosis.

If you have any questions about your own Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis and how to begin bringing your body back into balance, please feel free to email, text or call me anytime at heather@blitzconditioning.com (780)-721-6004.


About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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