The concept of Yin and Yang is fundamental to Chinese medical philosophy. This concept expresses duality with the two forces of yin and yang being opposites, yet complementary. The body organs are categorized as either yin or yang organs. Lloyd (2009) reveals that yin is held within the inner body to nourish the organs while yang stays in the superficial region from.
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The balance between Yin and Yang is fundamental to promoting health. This concept affects the health beliefs of many Asian patients. This paper will discuss how the influence of the concept of yin and yang in the traditional Asian patient will affect his view of the healthcare treatment of flu, childbirth, appendectomy, and foot amputation due to diabetic ulcers.
Health Care Treatments
While antiviral drugs are often prescribed for flu patients, the Asian patient might use herbal or dietary remedies. To the Asian patient, the flu will be viewed using the yin-yang concept of hot and cold diseases.
According to this concept, hot diseases are caused by too much yin, while cold diseases are caused by too much yang (Xueqin, 2004). The flu is accompanied by symptoms including fever, chills, and a runny nose. It is therefore classified as a hot disease, and warming Yang foods and herbs are recommended to cure it.
Pregnancy and childbirth are viewed using the yin-yang polar relationship of hot and cold. Traditional Asian clients believe that pregnancy and childbirth are yin condition (Xueqin, 2004). The reason for this is that the woman will experience blood deficiency or fatigue during childbirth.
This will lead to a deficiency in the yang available in the body. Pregnant women and new mothers are therefore asked to consume yang foods which man include chicken, beef, eggs, and spicy foods. This will restore the yin-yang balance and ensure health after pregnancy.
To the traditional Asian patient, appendicitis is caused by the blockage or stagnation of Qi, which is the positive energy flowing in the body. Modern medicine recommends appendectomy, which is the surgical removal of an inflamed appendix, to cure appendicitis and prevent the infection from spreading.
Since appendicitis is connected to intestines, which are yang organs, it is believed that regulating the yin force will cure the condition (Lloyd, 2009). Yin force can be regulated using Acupuncture. Acupuncture is an oriental procedure that stimulates anatomical points, thereby clearing blocked channels of energy in the body and allowing energy to flow freely within the body.
The Asian patient is likely to resist a foot amputation in response to diabetic ulcers. Instead, the patient might consider taking yin foods. For the Asian patient, diabetic foot ulcers are regarded as conditions caused by a yin deficiency.
Yunyu (2011) documents that Diabetic foot ulcers are characterized by hot pains and ulceration in the extremities. These “hot” conditions can be alleviated by taking cold herbs or foods. The cold foods will decrease the yin deficiency in the patient’s body.
This paper set out to discuss the effect that the yin-yang concept has on traditional Asian patients. It reviewed the impact of this oriental concept on several specific health care treatments. The paper has demonstrated that for the Asian patient, illnesses are cured by taking action to cause the desirable yin-yang balance in the patient’s body.
Health care professionals should be aware of the influence that the concept of yin-yang has on the traditional Asian patient. This will ensure that the patient is helped to take advantage of the benefits of Asian traditional medicine without exposing himself to health risks by refusing modern medicine.
Lloyd, I. (2009). The Energetics of Health: A Naturopathic Assessment. Boston: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Xueqin, G. (2004). The Culture of Health: Asian Communities in the United States. NY: ABC-CLIO.
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Yunyu, H. (2011). Managing Diabetic Foot Ulcers Using Chinese Medicine. Retrieved from: http://www.o-wm.com/content/managing-diabetic-foot-ulcers-using-chinese-medicine