Understand that the process that makes you amazing
is an ideal equilibrium or homeostasis:
where the system self-regulates in order to maintain stability.
Similar to the thermostat in your home, if you set it for 70 degrees the furnace with turn on when the temperature drops below 70. Once the thermostat senses a temperature of 70 the furnace will shut off again.
You are far more complicated in that there are many systems; respiration, blood pressure, digestion, body temperature, and all your other organ functions. They are constantly self-regulating, usually with little assistance from you.
The constant rebalancing is multi-dimensional, more homeodynamic than homeostatic. You are in constant flux (dynamic) in response to both internal and external factors. While at the same time there’s enough similarity (homeo) to maintain you as you.
Even when the system loses stability, it, meaning you, dynamically self-organizes and you will still be you – amazing and dynamic!
The Yinyang (Homeodynamics) of Asian Medicine
A fundamental concept in Traditional East Asian Medicine (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, Tai Chi & Qi Gong) is Yin Yang.
These are qualities rather than substances and can only be defined in relation to one another.
Yang implies an upward, outward, warm, more active quality.
Yin implies a more grounded, containing, cool or restorative quality.
Most importantly, the dynamic interplay of yinyang serves as the impetus for all that manifests in the universe.
Darkness only exists in contrast to light.
Neither is absolute nor is one more important than the other.
Seeds germinate in darkness yet the plants need light to grow. We find varying degrees of Yinyang during different phases of growth and development, both in nature and within us.
“Yinyang concerns the perception, understanding and encouragement of change.” Ted J. Kaptchuk
When asked how acupuncture works,
I often say; “There are two functions of the autonomic nervous system; sympathetic and parasympathetic commonly referred to as Fight or Flight and Rest and Digest.
Fight or Flight (sympathetic) is when the bloodstream is flooded with cortisol and adrenaline, the stress hormones. This function keeps you alive in dangerous situations. It’s what removes your hand from a hot stove before you’ve had a chance to think about it.
Rest and digest (parasympathetic) also keeps you alive. It dampers down fight/flight once the danger has passed and regulates digestion and elimination.
In this culture our nervous systems often gets stuck in fight/flight, constantly operating in high alert. Acupuncture can help reboot the system, dialing down fight/flight (yang) and dialing up rest/digest (yin).
In the language of Asian medicine, we are bringing yinyang back into “right relationship.”
In conventional medical language Fight/Flight response increases; blood sugar levels, circulating fatty acids, your blood pressure and heart rate while inhibiting sleep, digestion and urination. The body can’t operate optimally in a sustained state of fight/flight.
Good news is, there are many ways to reset and manage some of the ill effects of chronic fight/flight. Your body is incredibly resourceful.