It only seems like yesterday that I was writing about how it feels like the summer is coming. After the last sunny weekend it looks like summer is on it’s way out. It’s actually sunny as I write this, although it has been raining for much of the week and there’s more to come.
We need the Sun to survive. If the Sun were to be suddenly extinguished we would know about it in about 6 and half minutes, which is the time it takes for light to travel the distance from the Sun to Earth, 149.6 million km. Photosynthesis would stop immediately, so food would run out pretty quickly. And it would get cold pretty quickly too; the earth’s average surface temperature would drop below freezing after just a week.
There would be some light as there would still be some electricity, but that’s the least of our problems. The Sun is the dominant gravitational force in the universe, so without it all the planets that orbit it would just spin off into space.
Cold is for dead people!
Heat Is really important in Chinese Medicine and I use it all the time in my Acupuncture and Tui Na practice. I generally use moxibustion and my hands to generate heat, but I also have an infrared heat lamp. The body needs heat to function, just as all living things do. Without it the organs would cease operating and all bodily functions would stop. Luckily for us the body can generate and preserve heat whether it is summer or not.
That’s why a zombie apocalypse could never happen. With no circulatory system (and therefore no heat) the zombie would be unable to move. They might be able to drag themselves around for a few minutes, but that would be about it. Like a dead person, which is exactly what they are! So don’t fear the living dead, fear global warming, that is actually happening! It might be summer every day soon.
When the heat is on.
The body needs heat to function, 37 degrees Celsius in fact. It needs heat to keep the organs functioning, the blood fluid, the muscles and tendons flexible. But that is a healthy heat. In Chinese Medicine there is also a less desirable heat associated with illness. This type of heat is often called pathogenic heat. You might have experienced this when you have a cold, or if you have a swollen joint. Some women also experience heat during their period or during the menopause. Healthy heat is the product of a well balanced yin and yang. In biomedicine this is called homeostasis. Pathogenic heat is therefore a product of an imbalance of yin and yang. We call this either full heat or empty heat.
- Full Heat is caused by too much yang energy, typically caused by some sort of stagnation. The root of stagnation can be emotional strain or something more physical, e.g. irregular eating, excessive physical work or lack of exercise.
- Empty Heat, on the other hand, is caused by a yin depletion. As the yin depletes, its cooling nature can no longer contain the heating aspect of yang. In the West the main cause of yin becoming depleted is over work.
Feeling the cold.
On the other hand, if you are simply cold and feel no heat, this could be due to a general depletion of yin and yang. Yin is substance, without which there can be no action/movement, which is heat.
Having a healthy balance between your yin and yang depends on may things – what you eat, what you think, and how you rest and play. As I’ve said before, life is a balancing act; a series of ups and downs. The trick is to make sure you are not on a rollercoaster.
More next week.