Kidney Yin and Yang deficiency isn’t just a 21st century issue, but it’s certainly becoming more common. Yin and Yang are two divisions of ‘One’ and everything (alive or inanimate) has Yin and Yang aspects, and this just happens to be demonstrated elegantly by the two phases of the menstrual cycle. The Yin-dominant follicular phase is cooler and focuses on building eggs, follicles and the womb lining, and Yin increases to a peak at ovulation when the dominant follicle fills to overflowing and bursts to release an egg and Yin transforms to Yang and the substances (follicles and womb lining) built during the Yin get changed by the Yang dynamic of the luteal phase.
It’s in the Yang phase that the egg is fertilized, transported and nourished on its journey to the womb, and by the time it arrives the endometrial lining has been transformed from a relatively thin structure at ovulation into a thick vascular, spongy tissue bed that actively encourages implantation.
Both Yin and Yang are essential for the menstrual cycle and in practice it’s not unusual for people to have both Kidney Yin and Yang deficiency, in which case both aspects will need some support to optimise fertility. Of the two, Kidney Yin deficiency is a lack of reserves of ‘substance’ that the ‘action’ Yang energy is based on. Yin is potential rather than outward energy, in the way that logs on a fire have energy locked inside them, and the heat from the flame relies on this to burn:
“Yin exists internally; Yang exists externally”
Yang energy is able to transform stored energy in a life changing way, and if Yin and Yang compliment and support each other life will flourish, rather than consume or overwhelm each other. Concurrent Kidney Yin and Yang deficiency is usually a result of years of illness, overwork, or excessive sexual activity, but it can be a constitutional issue too. The warmth of Yang is easily reduced by Cold and Damp conditions as they obstruct and weaken it, and Yin can be reduced by heating illnesses or chronic blood loss, and just being older reduces a person’s natural reserves of Yin:
“at 40 years [of age], Yin qi is automatically half”
“The Kidneys are the organ of Water and Fire; inside [them] are true Yin and true Yang”
The body has Yin and Yang; Fire and Water, and the kidneys are said to store both True Yin (left kidney) and True Yang (right kidney) and this means they’re more
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