As we continue learning about the Eight Extraordinary Vessels we move onto the Yin Wei Mai, or the Yin Linking Vessel. This meridian flows from the middle or medial aspect of lower limbs through the mid-thigh, up the abdomen and into the neck. It is all about balancing yin and yang.
What does balancing yin and yang mean? Let’s talk just a bit more about yin yang theory for a moment. This is a relative phenomenon, not absolute in nature. As you read more you will understand why, which is why keeping it in balance is so important.
Yin Yang Theory
- Yin and Yang are in opposition. This part of the theory reflects the ability of these energies to try and control each other. An example would be the warmth of yang dispelling the cold from yin or vice versa. Therefore, they tend to restrict one another, as they vey for control they tend to keep the body at a certain point of balance. Once that balance is tipped, disease will arise, and that could be of the body, mind, or spirit.
- They are interdependent. Even though they oppose each other they also depend on each other, unable to exist without one another. Would you know warmth if you didn’t know cold? Would you know up if you didn’t know down? Would you know happiness if you didn’t know sadness? Physically the yang corresponds to functional activities while the yin is more about nutrients and nurturing. How healthy would we be if we didn’t nurture ourselves to produce the yang energy?
- They are inter-supporting. This means they are not fixed, they are in a state of exchanging energy from one to another. If yin is the nutrient portion we need to use some of that in order to do the functional portion of our lives. On the other hand, when we are nurturing and supporting ourselves we need some of the functions of yang to do that as well. Again, this is a balance of give and take, when the balance becomes too heavy or weak in one direction disease results.
- Yin and Yang are inter-transforming. We come back to the idea, once again, that this is not a static state of being. Yin and Yang have the ability to transform into one another. Think in the terms of a fever. Your fever spikes, this is yang, then it goes back down, this is yin. When it goes back down enough then the balance is back in order. The same thing happens in inflammation. Usually there is a peak of discomfort or pain before things subside again. This is the transformation of the two energies.
- Yin and Yang are infinitely divisible. No matter how deep you go or how much you break them down they never cease. Let’s look at the body, the outside is considered yang and the inside yin. However, when you get to the organs the outer of the organ is yang and the inner yin. Go cellular, the outside of the cell is yang, the inside yin. See the point? Yin and Yang do not cease to exist.
Because the Yin Linking Vessel can help balance this you can see how critical it is to overall health and well-being.
Physically this channel effects the blood, yin, and shen (which is the soul). If you suffer from difficulties in circulation, heart pain, depression, a certain type of headache, pain in the chest, back, middle and or lower jiao (bladder area), and digestive upset that particularly involves nausea this channel is being affected.
When speaking of the shen we can still list chest pain, feeling of oppression, tightness or stuffiness in the chest. Feelings of anxiety, apprehension, depression, overthinking, melancholy, sadness with or without crying, shock, and mental cloudiness, as well as nightmares are covered by this meridian. The latter are mentioned because those feelings stem from discomfort in the soul. When the core or center of you is unable to rest those feelings will show themselves.
When yin and yang cannot link with one another there will be pensiveness, obsession, loss of will power and lack of self-control. The lists here are extensive because this channel is so closely associated with keeping yin and yang itself in balance. You can see for yourself when they are out of balance how long the list of things are that go awry for you physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
Making the connection and supporting the Yin Linking Vessel can you help you derive meaning from life, validate your experience and express yourself with integrity. Beautiful things can come from balance.
You are invited to find your own balance by making the choices in your life that create a peaceful ebb and flow between nurturing and functioning. If you struggle with finding that on your own, we have the resources to help you. Acupuncture, esoteric acupuncture, herbal medicine, or guided imagery therapy are great places to start.
May you live, heal, and love with balance in your life.