In life today, many people are rushing around all the time, struggling to fit in all their activities of their day into 24 hours.

In order to be healthy, we need to ensure our body stays in balance. Whilst we require stresses to stay alive, like the sun, gravity and mental challenges, many people are unable to handle the volume of stress in their life.

As Paul Chek states in his book, The Last 4 Doctors You’ll Ever Need, “There are physical stressors, emotional stressors, mental stressors and spiritual stressors. They are an unavoidable reality in our experience of life, and successfully managing them is how we grow. We need them”.

Often times, people who become unwell are merely unable to manage their stress effectively and require education on how to do that. This is where I come in.

Everything in our universe has polarity. For instance, the earth has a North and South Pole. We have left and right and up and down. With regards to our health and the ability to manage our stresses, we have the autonomic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system also has two poles, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

In Chinese philosophy, it is known as yin (female) and yang (male).  Below, is the yin/yang symbol that depicts the balance between yin and yang and shows that there is yin within the yang and yang within the yin.

The sympathetic nervous system is yang. It comes to life when your body is in danger (stressed). It releases stress hormones, such as Cortisol, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine to raise your heart rate, respiration rate, perspiration rate, direct blood flow to the working muscles of the limbs, and the hind brain (and away from the vital organs) so you can ‘fight or flight’ the danger (stress).

The parasympathetic nervous is yin. It is supposed to be the dominant system which works most of the time when the body is relaxed. It stimulates the release of anabolic hormones like the sex hormones, human growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factors to help aid repair and regeneration of muscle tissue, tendons, ligaments, joints, the brain and other internal organs.

The parasympathetic nervous system directs blood flow to the vital organs and the fore-brain to stimulate the immune system and systems of digestion, detoxification and elimination and to aid repair and allow conscious thought and planning.

What is crucial if you are to maintain good health is that you maintain a good balance of your yin and yang forces. After all, if your blood is constantly being shunted away from your vital organs, you won’t be able to digest food properly and your immune system will be shut down. This means your body will not receive nourishment (malnourishment) and your body’s defenses will be down and more susceptible to harmful infections. You will also not be able to think clearly and rationally and this may lead to poor decision making.

If you are feeling burnt-out, mentally stressed, always rushing, have aches and pains, have a low sex drive, find it hard to shake off colds and flu’s, can’t lose weight, physically or mentally tired, recover slowly from exercise or feel anxious, chances are you are too yang and have a yin deficiency.

It is fair to say that today, most people are too yang and therefore, have a yin deficiency.

Stay tuned for part two of “Are Your Forces in Balance?” when I’ll describe what you can do to balance your yin and yang to achieve optimal health and performance.