Thursday, March 20, 2014

TAOISM and Shiatsu Anma Therapy: YIN/YANG

Upon the divine ground of “Emptiness” a life is being created by first creating the dualistic concept of life/death (Yang/Yin).

Yin and Yang are related to the two complementary aspects of every living phenomenon on earth, such as day and night, negative & positive, active & passive etc.

The Yin and Yang exists together and cannot exist without each other, like “two sides of the same coin”!

The concept of “Yin/Yang” relates to the dynamic dualism and mutual relationship that composes everything in nature. None of them is superior to the other in an absolute way for the both depend on each other. The Yin/Yang concept begins in the creation of Yang power as the artist draws his first draw with red ink at the bottom part of the circle (“WU CHI”) in an upward motion, so the Yang power is born and the ground for it becomes the Yin. From that we may suggest that the Yin was the “nothing” that passively became “something” as a concept, due to the creation of Yang. Thus the Yin has a more “passive” and “nourishing” nature compared to the “active” and “using” nature of the Yang.

Also it is right to conclude that since the Yang is “moving” (drawing motion) than it brings “heat” and its “warm” in nature compared to the Yin that is static and therefore “cold” in nature.

As it may be understood, the Yin and the Yang should never be defined in an absolute way, but only in relation to each other. For example: It is accustomed to consider the female as YIN and the Male as YANG, but not always true in life. It was done in the past because it reflected the general population at that time & location… but nowadays we may see a lot of examples for an “active Female” or “passive Male”. So when we define something it should always be related to a specific reality. The night may always be considered as YIN in relation to the day, but some nights may be more “active” than days, for example, with people who work in the night, or with some animal predators who seeks their prey during the night time. So it is a very dynamic consideration…

The drawing of the Yang power in the symbol of “Tao” and the relation between the two “poles” reveals a flowing motion that has an everlasting & cyclic nature and is named: “Qi” (Chinese) or “KI” (Japanese). It will be discussed in the next article and is my favorite concept regarding the “TAO”. As we can see there are two “dots” at the peak of each element symbolizing the continuous and complementary nature of Yin/Yang, so at the very “end” of each one of them lays the “beginning” of the other. An example of that is the belief the death (Yin) brings the beginning of a new life (Yang) and vise-versa. Life and death serves in an endless cycle giving birth to each other. Death means simply rest and storage towards the next life…

The Yin and Yang can greatly contribute to our understanding of the nature of our bodywork in every case by properly characterizing any problem and therefore “matching” the right techniques needed to correct it. For example: a severe inflammation may be characterized as a “hot” condition (excessive “Yang”) due to an increased blood flow into the damaged area and may suggest a steady gentle pressure that is characterized as moderate Yin technique (static calm pressure) as if to resolve the stagnant energy and draw it further into the Yin phase.

Here are a few manifestations of Yin and Yang relevant examples to Shiatsu Anma bodywork:

Pressure (Shiatsu)
Massage (Anma)
Gentle work
Stimulate, quick, strong work
Inside parts of the body (organs, viscera etc.)
Outside parts of the body (Musculoskeletal)
Para-sympathetic nerves (ANS)
Sympathetic nerves (ANS)
“Sluggish” point (week, deficient)
Excessive point, hypersensitive, tender to pressure
Rest, nourishment, calmness
Activity, control, movement
Exhaling (breathing out)
Air intake (breathing in)
Aerobic energy
Muscle power
Abdomen (breath power)
Head & back (nerve control)

Of course there is a lot more to discuss on this issue and further material will be given in the future. Here I cover the basics only.

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