The Joy of Yin

There’s a saying in Chinese medicine that “Women are blood and men are qi.”

Yin and Yang exist in all things

The blood aspect of this reminds us that many disorders in female medicine (Fu Ke) are chronic, cyclical and deal with fluids. We are also taught that when blood moves qi follows. This suggests that both male and female conditions may indeed by helped by the very same Qigong approach but that the exact sequence will differ subtlely between men and women.

Once the doctor, Guo Yu, was the butt of an imperial practical joke. The king asked Dr. Guo to examine a gay member of the palace staff dressed up as a woman. Guo felt the pulses of his patient dolled up and mostly concealed by the gauzy drapes of the bed. Reporting to the king he said, “In the human body one arm is yin and the other is yang the arrangement depending on the sex. But in this person the male and female are reversed. Your servant wonders why.” The king could only sigh with admiration.

To appreciate the yin and the yang and the male and female as essentially different things without resorting to cliches and stereotypes is one of the goals of Qigong. But to really harmonize we must first be able to distinguish.