Understanding Kidney Yin and Kidney Yang
Posted by UPBRO
Kidney yin, also called primordial yin, true yin or true water, is the foundation of the yin fluid of the whole body; it moistens and nourishes the organs and tissues.
Kidney yin provides energy for physiological functions while kidney yang promotes storage of kidney yin. Kidney yin and yang are mutually dependent, promoting and restraining each other, leading to an internal harmony of yin and yang, and healthy functioning of the body's organs. It is the dynamic interaction between the two that maintains the normal life activities. The third chapter of Suwen (The Book of Plain Questions) confirms this by saying, "When yin is stabilized and yang well-conserved, the spirit will be in harmony; separation of yin and yang will cause exhaustion of essence and qi." This statement implies the mutual relationship of yin and yang.
When imbalance OccursWhen the balance of kidney yin and kidney yang is disrupted, pathological changes take place and illness occurs.
Presentations of kidney yin deficiency include: soreness and weakness of the lumbar regions and knees, dizziness, ringing in the ears, hearing problems, a dry mouth and throat, a hot sensation in the palms, soles and chest, spontaneous sweating, constipation, and seminal emission. The pulse is weak or fine and rapid; the tongue is red and covered with a light coating of fur. Kidney yin deficiency syndrome always produces signs of yin vacuity internal heat.
Presentations of kidney yang deficiency include: soreness or cold sensation in the knees and lumbar regions, aversion to cold, cold limbs, spiritual fatigue, difficulty in urination, enuresis, incontinence, declining libido, or impotence in severe cases; female sterility, and general edema may also appear. The pulse is fine or fine and deep; the tongue is bulky, moist, and covered with white fur. Kidney yang deficiency syndrome always produces signs of yang vacuity internal cold.
This is why in routine TCM therapies, tonifying yin will also support yang and tonifying yang will also support yin, or tonify both yin and yang at the same time, by this means the state of equilibrium are restored. According to the clinical diagnosis, yang and yin are invigorated to different degrees. In the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), a notable physician, Zhang Jiebin (1563-1640) had the celebrated idea that "The body is prone to deficiency rather than excess. It is necessary to warm and tonify kidney yin and kidney yang from time to time, and to use cold-cool and potent drugs with caution. Therefore the kidney, which is the root of all the organs, can be consolidated." He also claimed that "when tonifying the yin, yang should be protected, not suppressed, and vice versa." This concept is generally accepted today, and many of his formulas relating to kidney tonification are still popular.
In respect to deficiency in kidney qi and kidney yang
Kidney yang deficiency and kidney qi deficiency represent different stages of a process; improper management of kidney qi deficiency leads to kidney yang deficiency; in contrast, proper management of kidney yang deficiency leads to less severe symptoms of a kidney qi deficiency and then gradual recovery to the normal state.
In respect to kidney qi and kidney essence
Simply speaking, citing the analogy of yin and yang, kidney essence is the material basis, kidney qi is the functional force. Kidney essence and kidney qi are complementary and closely associated.
Imbalance of kidney yin and kidney yang leads to many diseases, and affects all organs of the body. For accurate diagnosis of a condition, it must be first ascertained whether there is a deficiency of yin or yang, before identifying the organs involved. For example in chronic nephritis, chronic renal failure, or senile kidney deficiency diseases, the usual TCM syndromes are kidney qi deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, qi deficiency in the kidney and spleen, yang deficiency in the kidney and spleen, kidney yin deficiency, yin deficiency in kidney and lung, yin deficiency in kidney and liver. Careful diagnosis can increase the effectives of treatment.