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What is Yin Deficiency?

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), yin deficiency is a term used to describe a deficiency or imbalance of yin energy in the body. In TCM, Yin and Yang are seen as opposing but complementary forces representing different energy qualities or aspects with us and the entire universe.

Simply put, Yin is associated with qualities of the "feminine," such as coolness, moisture, darkness, and stillness, while Yang is associated with qualities of the "masculine," such as heat, light, and movement.

In TCM, Yin deficiency occurs when there is an imbalance between Yin and Yang energies in the body, with Yin energy being insufficient or deficient. This imbalance leads to various physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms in our mind-body system.

Causes of Yin Deficiency

Yin deficiency is often associated with menopause due to the drop in estrogen, but let's be real; much of our modern life leads to depletion, and we know it.

Here are a few causes of Yin deficiency:

  • dehydration

  • childbirth

  • menopause- hormonal shifts

  • chronic illness

  • stress

  • overwork

  • diet low in vitamins and minerals; high in processed and fried foods

  • frequent exposure to air-conditioning, being inside and artificial environments

  • constant exposure to electromagnetic fields, too much screen time, cell phones

  • constantly being "on the go" - pushing to get things done even when you feel exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed

  • excessive sexual activity

Men and women, children and elders are all susceptible to fatigue, burnout, and Yin deficiency.

Do you know what's not overtly on that list? Yet is the undercurrent and underpinning of all these causes?

Living in Fear

Fear, living in fear. For the past few years, as a collective, we have lived in and through a global pandemic, riots, wars, changes in the economy, other forms of sickness, and changes in identity as we watch our governments and bigger global systems change and be dismantled. Not to mention our own personal challenges.

There is a very real difference between fear and danger. Danger is real, and in each moment when we feel ourselves react with fear, we have to asses if we are feeling fear or if we are in danger. The rest of this article is not about "danger." It is about the survival instincts of our sympathetic nervous system reacting to fear that is leading us to depletion.

Fear keeps us isolated and separate.
Fear keeps us always trying to do more to stay safe.
Some are paralyzed by fear, like a deer in headlights.
Others run. They run away. They run from themselves, from others, from the pain, and from the truth.
Some try to fix, appease and appeal to the fear. If they perform like they should and take care of others, then they will feel safe.
The rest fight their way through! Scratching and biting the whole time. Fighting until people and things are unrecognizable.
The more the Yin energy gets depleted the more fear arrises. And the more fear arrises the more Yin energy is depleted becoming a self fulfilling cycle.

The Deer teaches us how to live in a dangerous world without fear. You will learn The Deer form in our Winter Qigong Series.

Signs & Symptoms of Yin Deficiency

What happens to us when we live in artificial environments, in fear, dehydrated, undernourished, stressed out, overworked, and addicted to our screens, as our bodies change and hormones flux?

The lack of Yin's nourishing, cooling, and moistening energy can leave you feeling hot and bothered, irritated and can manifest in a range of experiences such as:

  • poor memory-forgetfulness or confusion

  • headache/migraine

  • exhaustion

  • pain

  • backache or deep ache in the bones;

  • poor appetite, craving unhealthy foods and drinks leading to addictions

  • heart palpitations

  • low-grade fever or heat in the body from inflammation

  • heat in the palms, soles of feet, or center of the chest;

  • dry, sore throat or dry cough, mouth, lips, and tight and closed

  • difficulty sleeping- insomnia, uncomfortable dreams.

  • lack of trust in self and others in the form of insecurities

  • staying in the fight, flight, freeze, and fawn modes much longer than needed

  • staying in a dreamy, make-believe world without being able to bring things to completion.

  • self-isolation feeling like you don't belong

  • unable to express your true feelings

By now, you can see how essential it is to harmonize Yin and Yang energies in your body, mind, and overarching life. Now more than ever, we must be vigilant with our life-affirming and self-love practices that deeply nourish us!

You might be asking yourself...

How do I restore and nourish my Yin energy if I'm Yin deficient?

If you are experiencing health issues, then of course, the first thing I suggest visiting a qualified health care practitioner like an acupuncturist or TCM practitioner to explore their suggestions about restoring your Yin energy.

And from there, it is essential that you know how to address the deficiency's underlying causes and make lifestyle changes that can help restore balance to the body.

The key component to nourishing your Yin is rest and deep nourishment.

Remember, the word Qigong means "energy work." And part of "the work" here is deep nourishment and rest. Yes, rest is a part of the work of Qigong!

Receive this guided meditation to connect with the healing and restoring energy of water.

Here are some ways to support you as you restore and rebalance your Yin energy:

If you want to restore Yin energy be with Yin energy! Embody it, eat it, drink it, see it, smell it, move it, feel it, hear it. Become it!

  • Be with the water. Sit on the river bank, and swim in the lake and ocean. Bless the waters. Drink deep from her well, bathe, and shower with the healing water. Place a chalice of water on your altar, and have a fountain in your office.

  • Turn off the lights. Light a candle. Prepare for bed in candlelight. Sleep in the dark. Dedicate your bedroom to sleep and lovemaking only. It is not your office or place of work beyond self-care and self-love practices.

  • Get rest. Ensuring that you get enough sleep at night and rest though out the day is essential for nourishing and restoring your Yin energy. Even if you are not asleep, try to rest seven to eight hours per night. During the day, take moments of rest to quiet your mind, close your eyes, and restore. It might be a nap. it might not. That's ok. What's important is to avoid overworking or pushing yourself beyond your limits.

  • Eat a nourishing diet: Incorporating yin-nourishing foods into your diet, such as foods that are cooling, moistening, and nourishing, can help to replenish yin energy. Yin-nourishing foods include cooked vegetables, beans, grains, and fish.

  • Drink Nourishing Herbal Teas. Nourishing herbal teas that have been made with nutrient-dense herbs such as red raspberry leaf, nettle, oat straw, red clover, and alfalfa are deeply restorative. These herbs are rich in vitamins such as A, C, D, E, and K, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and zinc. We've blended many of these nourishing herbs into our Woman's Balance Tea.

  • Practice Meditation. There are many different forms of mindfulness practices that can easily be worked into your daily life. Here is a water meditation you can experience right now. Honestly, something as simple as connecting to your breath and your 5 senses can help clear your mind. Bringing clarity, improving your ability to manage stress, and improving every area of your life.

  • Learn Qigong for Women. To restore the healthy functioning Yin energy, then choose to turn inward and focus on reflective and tranquil practices. That gives you the "breathing space" to cultivate your Yin. Consciously encouraging your Qi to turn away from external stimuli and move inward allows your Yin to regenerate and restore. Winter Qigong is the perfect mix of exercise and meditation to restore Yin energy.

  • Exercise regularly: Even though we are talking about resting and slowing down, your body craves consistent gentle physical activity that improves energy levels and restores balance to the body. Do what you love, dance, stretch, walk with a friend, or take a solo hike. Make it a priority to choose activities that are moderate in intensity and avoid overdoing them.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture and herbal remedies may help restore yin energy.

As we complete, I want to check in with you.

How are you?

Can you relate to this post? Can you see this playing out in your life in some ways?

I mean, really.

Are you ready to deeply nourish your Yin energy?

Are you ready to take the next step, to not be so depleted and stuck in these unbalanced ways that are leading to more and more depletion?

Are you ready to receive the wisdom of the water, the dark, and trust life as it unfolds?

Hugs and deep bows of gratitude to you and your practice!



Dr. Janice Tucker, the founder of the Space To Relax Programme

Would you like to start your day clear, energized, and with a light, joyful heart? Click here to get the 13 Minute Morning Qigong Practice for FREE!⬇️⬇️⬇️

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