Go to page content
All Things Health Team
Written by All Things Health Team

Reviewed by Doreen Kee on September 4, 2023

Restoring Your Yin-Yang Balance: What It Is and How It Works

Restoring Your Yin-Yang Balance: What It Is and How It Works

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), balance is critical to good physical and mental health. This fundamental principle is evident in popular TCM health foods: for example, the benefits of bird’s nest and cordyceps in Chinese medicine emphasise the importance of restoring balance to the body and improving overall health and well-being rather than focusing on a singular aspect of the body.

Read on to find out more about restoring balance in the body using the yin and yang theory.

Defining Yin and Yang

Yin and yang theory forms the foundation on which TCM practitioners understand health and wellness.

Yang, which translates to “sun,” refers to heat, light, and masculinity. It is responsible for warming and activating the body and its functions.

Yin, which translates to “shadow,” refers to the cold, slow, wet, and feminine. It is responsible for providing the body with moisture that helps it function.

Both are aspects or manifestations of qi (vital energy) and are equal and opposite elements that complement each other. Each side contains an element of the other.

Yin and yang are codependent and share a dynamic relationship: when yin increases, yang decreases, and vice versa.

Patterns of Disharmony

The human body tends towards harmony. However, poor lifestyle and dietary habits may lead to a yin-yang imbalance.

Yin deficiency is mainly caused by high stress levels and excessive consumption of heaty food, such as caffeine and alcohol. It may also occur when women go through menopause as the decline in oestrogen production may lead to a decrease in yin.

The major manifestation of yin deficiency is body heat. Some symptoms include excessive sweating, irritability, insomnia, and dryness of the throat.

Overwork and excessive consumption of cold foods may result in yang deficiency, making you feel colder than usual. You may also have sticky perspiration, reduced appetite, and clammy hair.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi

According to TCM, tai chi helps restore your yin-yang balance.

TCM believes that tai chi helps regulate and balance the flow of qi with its slow and gentle movements. It also seeks to release negative emotions like stress and anger, which can disrupt the natural yin-yang balance in the body.

Food Therapy

Foods are either yin or yang.

Consuming too much yang food may cause your body to become heaty and dry. Conversely, overeating yin food slows down your digestive processes and causes you to feel more fatigued. Therefore, it is essential to cultivate a deficiency is body heat and note what category each food type falls under.

Those who seek to replenish low yin levels should seek out foods that are cooling and moistening, like leafy greens and coconut water.

Those who experience yang deficiency should avoid cold and raw foods. One way to add warmth to cold food is to add yang nourishing ingredients such as ginger and cinnamon into your food.

Herbal Supplements

Various TCM herbs can help restore balance to your yin-yang health. In particular, ginseng helps to reduce stress levels, an underlying cause of imbalance, while nourishing your yin levels.

Herbs like liquorice root replenish your yang levels, facilitating digestion and encouraging vitality.


There are 12 major acupuncture points that are found on acupuncture meridians, half of which are yin and the other half are yang. 

By selecting the appropriate meridians, practitioners can unblock your qi and restore balance to the body.


Yin-yang theory is fundamental to Chinese philosophy, culture, and medicine. It emphasises the importance of harmony and balance and can be regulated with lifestyle and dietary changes. It is crucial to evaluate your needs; if you are experiencing yin or yang deficiency, it is recommended that you follow the aforementioned tips to restore balance in your body.

Share this article on

Was This Article Useful to You?

Want more healthy tips?

Get All Things Health in your mailbox today!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related Articles

A woman wrapped in a blanket wiping her nose with a tissue while sitting on a sofa next to used tissues.
Wellness & Nutrition

3 Healing Food and Beverages for Flu Recovery

Healing foods and beverages can play a central role in flu recovery. Use these step-by-step recipe guides to prepare nourishing remedies when under the weather.

Read More
A partial view of a woman’s hands holding a bottle of rice vinegar, preparing to pour it on a spoon and a bowl underneath it.
Wellness & Nutrition

7 Benefits of Rice Vinegar for Better Health

More than a kitchen staple, rice vinegar is highly flavourful and packed with impressive properties. Discover the benefits and how to include it in your diet.

Read More
Close-up of a Chinese Medicine practitioner holding ginseng roots in both hands.
Wellness & Nutrition

How to Use Ginseng Root for Men’s Health

When a man struggles with erectile dysfunction, it can affect several aspects of his life. Learn how ginseng root can help treat the condition and similar problems.

Read More

The contents of the All Things Health website are for informational and educational purposes only.
Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.