This article presents the foundation of classical Chinese medical thinking - the concept of yin and yang - and how this informs clinical practice. The author explains how, particularly since the Song Dynasty, there has been a tendency for clinicians to misunderstand this concept by focusing on a narrow meaning of yin and yang at the expense of a broader understanding. From the classical perspective, yin and yang are not proper nouns that describe static and distinct entities, but rather relative descriptors that express the constantly changing nature of the whole of existence. The explanation includes a discussion of the classical understanding of the concepts of qi and blood, and upright and pernicious. Clinical examples are provided that illustrate the theory.
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