by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© May 2023, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.




Yang and yin is an ancient and basic concept in physics.  It has to do with complementary opposite forces, the speed of atomic particles, and more.  The Old Testament of the Bible begins with references to this idea:


Genesis, Chapter 1:


Verse 5: "He separated light from darkness."


Verse 7: "He separated heaven from earth".


Verse 10: "He called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas".


Verse 14: "Let there be lights in the heavens to separate day from night".


Verse 27: "In His image, He created male and female."


- Genesis, Chapter 1, The New English Bible


Yang means warm, contracted and more centripetal in nature.  Yin means colder, more expanded and more centrifugal in nature.

We use the words yang and yin because the English language does not have good equivalents.  These words are found in very ancient Hebrew (Ebre) and in some Oriental languages.




Applying the principles of yin and yang properly is a key idea in development science.  It is one of the main differences between development and most other healing systems.  The concept is not used much in either conventional medical or natural Western methods of health care.

We use it in relation to diet, nutritional supplementation, lifestyle, detoxification methods, metabolic typing, toxin avoidance, drinking water, all the recommended healing procedures, and even beliefs and attitudes that we find favor health over disease.  That is how important it is in development science!

We find that balancing yin and yang 1) reduces stress enormously, 2) leads to spiritual development in a balanced way, 3) removes many more toxic metals and toxic chemicals, 4) favors most enzyme reactions in the body and 5) improves vitality in a way that nothing else can do.

It is as though the body is like a seesaw and extremes of yin or yang energy unbalance it, like swinging wildly to one side or the other side.  This places tremendous stress on the body and leads to illness.  Keeping oneself balanced, on the other hand, reduces stress and greatly favors healing.  Let us examine how balancing yin and yang is used in development science.




The ideas of two complementary opposite forces is the most comprehensive system available regarding metabolic types.  It is the basis for typing the bodies as fast or slow oxidizers.

Fast oxidation is much more yang, while slow oxidation is more yin.  In general, the more extreme the oxidation rate, the more extreme the yin-yang imbalance.  Several acupuncturists have confirmed for me the correlation between yin and yang and the oxidation rate, as determined via hair mineral analysis using Dr. Eck’s ratios as standards.

Other doctors assess the oxidation rate in other ways, and their methods are not as accurate, in my experience.  Beware of using blood or urine tests, questionnaires or other means to assess the oxidation rate for this reason.


Hair mineral ratios and yin and yang.  A higher sodium/potassium ratio is more yang, while a lower ratio is much more yin.  Other ratios are less clear, although most likely a lower calcium/magnesium ratio is somewhat more yang, while a high calcium/magnesium is often, though not always much more yin.


Supplements.  All synthetic and even natural vitamins, minerals and herbs tend to be yin compared to whole, natural foods.  Therefore, I try not to use many supplements of any kind.


Detoxification procedures.  Those that are hot and dry such as sauna baths are more yang.  Those that are cold and damp such as juice therapy, homeopathy, herbs or any baths are more yin.


Toxins.  Most toxins are extremely yin because they disrupt life.  This includes toxic metals, and toxic organisms such as bacteria and viruses.  Their effects on the body can be either yin or yang, but generally their effect is yin.  Fungi and parasites such as worms and amoeba in the body are even more yin. 

Most medical drugs and almost all herbs, along with the isolated vitamins and isolated minerals are yin, especially homeopathic remedies.  For this reason, all should be used sparingly.


Electromagnetic fields generally have a very yin effect, as does ionizing radiation from nuclear power plants and A-bomb fallout.  Yin is generally harmful on planet earth today and best avoided.




            Traditional Chinese medical practitioners would say the reason for so many yin bodies is deficient chi or vital energy.  Many factors can deplete the chi including one's diet, lifestyle, stress and other factors.

            In particular, since 1940 or so, several factors have combined to render most bodies extremely yin.


Š           Ionizing radiation. The atomic bomb, through testing and accidents, has spread radioactive fallout all over the planet.  Low-level emissions occur from nuclear power plants, smoke detectors, computer monitors, television sets and fluorescent lamps.  Widespread medical and dental use of x-rays, radioactive dyes and radiation therapy add to radiation exposure.  Uranium mining is another source of low-level contamination.  Fortunately, humanity has learned a lot about radioactive fallout and the safety is improving.  However, the problem of rogue nations developing weapons and using them remains a serious problem.


Š           Electromagnetic pollution.  This is also very yin and growing at an astronomical rate with the advent of cell phone towers everywhere, computers in every home, especially laptop computers and hand-held devices like portable telephones.  These all give off fields that are very yin and chaotic.

Riding in airplanes with large spinning turbines in them near your head, and even riding in automobiles with large alternators spinning nearby, also give off electromagnetic waves of varying degrees of chaos.  Even house wiring and common radio and TV signals are quite yin, though not nearly as bad as cell phone radiation.         

Š           Toxic metals and chemicals everywhere. Industrial development and growth of the chemical industry has spread thousands of yin toxic chemicals throughout the environment.  These include toxic metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and beryllium.   It also includes thousands of toxic chemicals such as solvents, pesticides, plastics and many other classes of compounds. 


Š           Changes in the food supply.  These have been massive in the 20th and 21st century, and almost all are more yin.  They include: soils depleted of minerals due to soil mining, essentially, use of hybrid crops, use of pesticides, use of superphosphate fertilizers. For example, wild fruit, like crab apples, are small, hard and not too sweet.  Cultivated fruit is often larger and sweeter (more yin).
            Also, food is grown far away and transported thousands of miles in many cases to get to you.  Also, some is irradiated, another very yin procedure.


Š           Food refining. Most food processing and refining have made food far more yin.  This includes refining of wheat, sugar, rice and other grains.  It also includes adding thousands of toxic chemicals to prepared food, most of which are yin or have a yin effect.


Š           Dietary changes. The diets have also become more yin, with the consumption of much more white sugar, white flour instead of whole grains, and less red meat and fat consumption.  Items like soda pop, beer and wine are also far more yin than water, tea or coffee.  Sugar-eating is probably the most important of all of these dietary shifts.


Š           Medical drug use. This is a more yang approach to health care than some types, but now has turned yin because it is so overused.  Especially the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in America in 1967 and similar socialized programs in other nations, have resulted in tremendous use of yin chemicals as medicines.  Almost all prescription drugs are yin.  This includes most popular drugs such as antibiotics, anti depressants and many others.  Surgery and radiation therapy are also extremely yin.


Š           Recreational drug and alcohol use.  This includes marijuana, heroine, alcohol, tobacco, ecstasy, cocaine, psilosybin or magic mushrooms and other drugs are very yin.  They cause a “yin high”.


Š           Planetary pollution. This has caused a mixture of more yin and more yang conditions.  As explained earlier, toxic metals are yang, of themselves, but they cause chaos in the bodies, making them much more yin.  Oxygen in the air is reduced in the cities, which is more yang.  However, this also causes disease that is yin.  Polluted air, water and food, overall, has a very yin effect on mankind today.


With these rather severe changes have come new diseases, while some older ones such as tuberculosis and typhoid fever are not as prevalent.  This is how yin and yang, as well as nutrition, interact with disease states, another complex topic for another article.






            1. The balance of yin and yang in the body is often determined by the food one eats more than any other single factor.  Thus, a basic understanding of how food affects one’s yin and yang balance is essential.


2. Many qualities of a food affect its yin or yang qualities.  These include, but are not limited to its freshness, nutrient content, animal or vegetable derivation, how it is prepared, how and where it grows, toxins it contains, level of etheric energy, and even such things as its color, texture and other qualities.


3. The yin-yang balance in foods has little to do with a “balanced” diet in modern dietetics.  The Western idea of a balanced diet is based on balancing various food groups such as fruits, vegetables and grains.  This is a different idea.


4. Toxins, nutrients, fiber and other chemical factors found in all foods can be yin or yang, depending on their chemical nature.


5. Freshness is a very important quality to determine yin or yang.  Fresh food is far more yang in almost all cases.  Denatured, processed, refined, old, stale, wilted, or spoiled food is much more yin.  This has to do with the etheric energy of foods, discussed below. 


Yang quality and etheric energy.  Etheric energy is sometimes also called vitality or life energy.  Some people have instruments to measure it.   A food that is higher in etheric energy, or a cooking method that preserves or enhances etheric energy, will be more yang.  Fresher foods have much more etheric energy and are therefore much more yang.  Old, stale or canned foods have much less etheric energy and are more yin.

Frying food actually seems to preserve the etheric energy a little more.  This is why Oriental cooking recommends stir-frying, and it is one reason that organic blue and yellow corn chips may be excellent foods, even though they are made with cooked vegetable oils.


6. Macrobiotics is a modern version of this approach to dietetics. This science was introduced to America by Mr. Michio Kushi in the 1960s from Japan.  While some of it is excellent, some parts of it must be changed, in my opinion, based upon hair mineral analysis research.  For more on this subject, read Macrobiotics, And Modifications For Development Science. 

Macrobiotics is based on ancient Japanese and Chinese Taoist philosophy.  It divides foods into those that are more yin in nature, versus those of a yang nature.  The chart below depicts the way foods tend to be classified on a scale from yang to yin:


Salt   Eggs   Red Meat   Poultry   Fish   Grains   Vegetables   Fruit   Sugar   Drugs/Alcohol

YANG                                             NEUTRAL                                               YIN


Yang foods. The most yang foods are sea salt, meat, eggs, poultry, fish and cooked vegetables.  Plants that grow beneath the ground are more yang, while those that grow up in the air such as most fruit, are more yin.  Cooked grains, cooked beans and cooked vegetables are in the middle.


Yin foods. Raw vegetables, and even more so fruits, juices, sugars, alcohol and drugs are more yin (watery and expansive).  Also, anything made with water is much more yin such as soups, smoothies, and watery foods such as eggplant and all fruits.  Dried fruits are less watery, but are still extremely yin due to their sugar content.  Most raw plants and herbs are also very yin.  Also, chopping a food into tiny parts, grinding it up, blending it, pureeing it, or juicing it also causes the substance to become much more yin in nature.  In contrast, whole foods that are not chopped up are more yang.  Let us discuss specific types of foods:


Specific Foods.


Meats.  The most yang are cooked eggs and red meats such as lamb, beef, rabbit and especially wild game.  The next most yang are poultry such as chicken, ostrich, duck and turkey.  Dark meat is more yang than white meat due to its iron content and other differences.  Fish tend to be more yin, especially today as they contain more mercury and other toxins due to contamination of the oceans. 

Cooking the meat and adding some salt makes it even more yang.  Eating food raw or pureed makes it more yin.


Grains.  Grains that are most yang include millet, rice, amaranth and buckwheat.  Corn is somewhat less yang.  However, blue corn is a superior food today because it is less hybridized and contains a very helpful form of selenium. 

Quinoa, kamut and other grains are slightly more yin, but fine to eat.  Oats, rye, barley and wheat are less yang due to extensive hybridization.  These are not as healthful today mainly for this reason.  Please avoid all wheat, as it has become an irritating food due to hybridization.

White rice and white flour are much more yin than natural brown rice and natural whole wheat.  This is one reason we recommend brown rice, in addition to its superior nutrient content.


Methods of preparation:


Cooking grains or any food, and adding some salt, makes them more yang.

Pressure cooking makes a food a little more yang, which is generally very good. Cooking at high temperature (baking or roasting) or cooking for a long time is also more yang, but damages the nutrients in the food, so I do not recommend it.  Some baked vegetables are okay, but do not use baking or roasting exclusively.

 Fermenting grains or any food, tends to make them more yin because ferments (yeasts and fungi) are very yin organisms.  Also, aldehydes produced by most fermenting organisms are a more yin toxin. 

Sprouting grains makes them more yin.  Soaking any food makes that food a little more yin.

Stir-frying or deep frying has a mixed effect.  The high heat tends to make food more yang.  However, it is too high and damages the food, which has a yin effect.  Also, just stir-frying does not cook vegetables enough.  We need them soft, not crunchy.  So if you stir-fry, add water to the pot and let the vegetables cook more in the steam until soft.


Vegetables.  Those that grow below ground are more yang such as rutabaga, carrot, onion, daikon, shallots, garlic, horseradish root, celery root and ginger.

Stems and leaves of plants are a little less yang than vegetables.  They include cauliflower, broccolini, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, celery and a few others.

Nightshade vegetables are much more yin because they are really fruits.  The botanical definition of a fruit is something with seeds.  Said differently, a fruit is an expanded ovary of a plant.  The seeds are like the eggs of a plant.

The nightshade vegetables include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and all peppers.  They contain a toxin called solanin.  These include white and red potatoes, all types of tomatoes, eggplant and both sweet red and yellow peppers, green peppers, ground pepper, and all hot chili peppers.  These are all best avoided.

Other vegetables that are really fruits and therefore more yin are cucumbers, okra, and the entire squash family.  These include zucchini, summer squash, butternut, spaghetti, acorn squash and others.  Some of the winter squashes are not too yin (butternut, spaghetti, and acorn types), but the summer squashes such as zucchini are quite yin and best avoided. 

Fungi, such as mushrooms, are more yin because this is a quality of all yeasts and fungi.

To review, raw vegetables are far more yin than cooked vegetables.  Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut are more yin than cooked vegetables.


Eggs and dairy products such as milk, cream, cheese and yogurt.  These foods are fairly yin.  Fresh, unpasteurized and unhomogenized dairy is best, as it is more yang.  Pasteurizing adds heat, but damages the milk so it becomes toxic and thus more yin. 

Cheese and yogurt are more yang than milk because they contain less sugar.  However, they are still quite yin foods and need to be eaten only in small quantity for this reason.  Ghee is similar to butter.

Fruits:  All fruit tends to be very yin.  Fruit grows above ground, and anatomically all fruits are expanded parts of plants.  The least yin are small, tart fruits such as some berries.  The sweeter the fruit, the more yin, since it contains more sugar.  Some, such as strawberries are very yin, even if they are not sweet.  This is due in part to the fact that the seeds are scattered throughout and on the outside of the plant.

Juicy fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, loquats, and others are in the middle among the fruits.

The most yin fruits are:

1) Very sweet fruits, (figs, dates, raisins and bananas).

2) Tropical fruits, such as coconut, palm, avocado and all citrus fruits.  These include orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, pineapple and grapefruit).  Of these, grapefruit is probably a little better as it is less sweet, but all are very yin and are forbidden on a development program. 


Water for drinking.  Quality spring or mineral water is the most yang.  The quality will depend upon the minerals that are in the water.  Tap water is often a little more yin due to the toxic chemicals found in it and the chemicals added to it such as chlorine and fluorides.  Soft water is more yin than hard water, which contains more minerals.

Distilled and reverse osmosis water are significantly more yin, as they contain virtually no minerals.  Reverse osmosis is extremely yin and to be avoided. 

Artificially alkaline water is quite yin and harmful for this reason.


The amount of water one drinks.  Drinking the correct amount of water, which we find is between 2 and 3 quarts, or 2 and 3 liters or 64-96 ounces, tends to make the body much more yang. 

One might think that drinking less water would make the body more yang, but it does not.  It makes it more yin, perhaps by upsetting digestion and elimination, affecting the kidneys, or for other reasons.  Drinking too little also seems to raise blood sugar, a yin condition.

Drinking too much water – more than about 3 and a half quarts or liters, also makes the body more yin. 


Other beverages:  Juices are all very yin!  This is because they are raw, cold, and broken apart.  We suggest that adults may have 10-12 ounces of carrot juice due to its superior nutritional qualities, but no more. 

1-2 ounces of fresh wheat grass juice is an alternative

 Teas are cooked vegetables, basically, and are more yang than juices, for example.  Non-caffeinated mild teas are okay, but do not add sugar or other sweeteners, as that would make them more yin.

Coffee is a more yang beverage, and one cup daily of regular coffee (not cappuccino, or other strong coffee) is generally okay.  Adding sweeteners, chocolate, etc. makes the coffee much more yin, however, and makes it much less healthful.

Alcohol is extremely yin and to be totally avoided in all forms.  If you must have a little alcohol, beer is probably the best alcoholic drink, in our experience.  Wine is not only yin, but generally contains many more pesticide residues with arsenic and lead.  Distilled alcoholic beverages such as gin, whiskey, vodka, tequila and others are even more yin as most of the minerals have been removed during distillation.


Food additives.  Almost all food additives such as preservatives, sweeteners, dough conditioners, natural or artificial flavors and colors, and thousands of others, are almost all very yin.

            Food Processing. Cutting up vegetables, grinding grains, refining food, juicing it or eating food raw is more yin.  Eating foods whole is much more yang.

Cooking adds heat energy and this makes food more yang, unless the food is overcooked.




Minerals.  Mineral supplements are more yang than most other supplements.

Animal-derived products such as glandulars are also fairly yang supplements.

Food-based and all-natural products.  These tend to be more yang than synthetic vitamin supplements, although it depends how they are made.

Synthetic supplements such as ascorbic acid, MSM, and synthesized B-complex vitamins tend to be somewhat more yin. 

Herbal extracts, teas, powders and others. Almost all herbal extracts are yin and should be used only in small amounts for short periods of time for this reason.  Those made with alcohol are more yin due to the alcohol.  Glycerin is less yin.  Kelp has a lot of salt in it, so it is a lot more yang than most other herbal supplements.  For details, read Herbs.

Products derived from bacteria, yeasts, algae and fungi. These are very yin due to their origin. This is generally not helpful.  They may include yeast-based vitamins, fungally-derived “vegetable enzymes”, and algae such as spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae and others.  The latter appear to be toxic as well.  Chlorella is a chelator, and not helpful for this reason.  For more details, read Chelation.

Salt.  Salt tends to contract foods and dry them out, which is more yang.

Herbs and spices. A little dried herb on foods is okay.  Using a lot makes the food more yin.

Chemicals.  Adding chemicals always makes food more yin.

Soaking grains, beans, nuts or seeds tends to make them more yin. 

Sprouting beans, seeds or grains makes them more yin.

Wine, vinegar, fruit, sugar, honey and sweet herbs.  These add a lot of yin energy to one’s cooking. 

Fermenting foods tends to make them more yin, because the ferments are fungi or yeasts, which are very yin.  Some fermented foods are okay such as cheeses, yogurt, kefir, miso and sauerkraut.  For details, read Fermented Foods.

Canned and frozen foods.  These are more yin than fresh food

Drying food makes it a little more yang, as it removes water.

Older, spoiled and rotten food is much more yin.




Overeating or undereating makes one more yin. 

Fasting has a yin effect today because the bodies are so depleted that it makes them worse.  In the past, fasting had a more yang and healthier effect, which is why fasting is in the Bible and other ancient books.  Today, this has changed, however, and fasting is not so good.

A fast of a day or two is not too bad.  Longer fasts are harmful because they deplete the bodies even more.  There will be benefits of fasting, such as resting the digestive system.  However, everyone we work with who has done fasting is more depleted after the fast.

For this reason, books about fasting written 50 or 100 years ago do not apply today.  The author worked as the medical director at a Natural Hygiene fasting spa for several years, and was disappointed in what he observed.




Rest.  Enough rest makes the body much more yang.  This is about 8 to 10 hours nightly and perhaps a short nap during the day.  Not enough rest, or too much laying in bed all day, for example, tend to make the body more yin.  Too much rest is not a problem today.  Not getting enough rest is almost a universal problem.

Bedtime is important. Going to bed earlier – by 9 PM or earlier – makes a person quite a bit more yang.  Going to bed later – after 11 PM – makes a person more yin.  This is quite an important factor in some cases.  Napping is very good to make one more yang as well.  The nap need not be a long one.  Fifteen minutes or so is fine.


Muscle tension is also very yangizing, at least for a time.  Muscle tension is a compressive force, so it tends to make one more yang.  To tense up the body is a common yang or confrontative response to stress.

 Of course, if the muscle tension continues too long, or squeezes off the blood or nerve supply to an area of the body such as the neck or back, then it eventually becomes a yin force as it destroys the body.


Exercise.  A little exercise, which tenses the muscles and causes deeper breathing, makes the body a little more yang.  However, too much exercise, especially vigorous exercise, wears out the joints, depletes nutrients too much, weakens the adrenals, and makes one more yin, over time. 

The correct amount of activity and exercise is helpful to make the body a little more yang.  Not much is needed, however, for most people, such as a half-hour walk or gentle workouts with a treadmill or weights several times a week.  No exercise makes the body a little more yin.  Exercise is not as important a factor in making a body yin or yang compared to  diet and rest.


Sexual activity.  Sexual activity with orgasms and ejaculation tends to make a person much more yin.  Sex play without orgasms and ejaculation is not a problem, however. 

No sexual activity tends to preserve a certain yang energy in the body, unless a person is so unhappy without sex that this impairs mental functioning.  In this case, a little sex is best to keep the mind and body in balance.

Sex with orgasm and ejaculation more than once weekly is excessive for most people.  It definitely makes the body more yin, as it depletes zinc, selenium and other vital minerals. 

Women reabsorb some of their sexual fluids, and they obtain some minerals from the men’s sexual fluids, so regular sex affects them less in a nutritional manner.  However, women’s energy field usually opens up wide during sex, which is another yin effect of sex for women.  Orgasm for a man, however, is quite depleting of yang energy, according to Chinese acupuncture philosophy.


Breathing.  Deep breathing makes one more yang by removing toxins, improving circulation and oxygenation of the body, enhancing the oxidation rate, and perhaps by other means such as balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.


Toxin exposure.  Living a very clean life with little toxin exposure definitely makes one more yang today.  Exposing oneself to poor quality air, toxic and chemicalized foods, toxins in water, or other toxins through contact, for instance, makes one much more yin.


Stress. Stress in one’s life can have a yang effect or a yin effect.  It depends on the type of stress and on the individual.  This is more complex.  Stress can be a compressive or yang force, but it can also destroy or just scare the person, and this would be an extremely yin effect. 

Three highs or four highs pattern.  This is seen on hair tests in which a person is in a four highs pattern and appears like a fast oxidizer in many ways.  However, when the person relaxes, he or she changes to slow oxidation and the attitudes and attributes change to a more yin tendency.  In Chinese acupuncture, three or four highs pattern is called yang rising, or perhaps toxic yang.  This is the same as saying a stress yang, rather than a healthful yang quality.

A calcium shell pattern on a hair analysis is a more yin response to stress, in contrast.  Here the person withdraws and hides, essentially.


Excessive stress. Too much stress, however, depletes vital nutrients, allows toxic metals to accumulate, damages body tissues and structures, and eventually destroys the body, making it far more yin.  This is what happens when one is in slow oxidation as one ages. 

Also, in many, but not all slow oxidizers, when more stress is applied, they tend to become slower oxidizers.  This has to do with the type of stress and the general condition of the body. 


Responses to stress: dissociative or yin versus confrontative or yang.  While some stress elicits a yang response, other types of stress in some people elicits a more yin or dissociative effect.  For example, a calcium shell pattern is extremely yin and represents a dissociation of splitting off of the personality, which we say is a withdrawal from society psychologically.  This is very yin or hiding or running away. 

Four highs, in contrast, is a more confrontive response to stress or more yang response of fighting back.  Why some respond in a yin manner and others in a more yang manner has to do with many factors including one’s nutritional state, psychological tendencies, early childhood traumas, and perhaps other factors.




            The sympathetic nervous system has a yin or catabolic and destructive effect on the body.  However, it is yang in nature, meaning hot and active.

The parasympathetic nervous system has a more yang effect on the body, as it is regenerative and restorative of health.  However, it is much more yin or passive in its quality.  The parasympathetic nervous system is associated with rest and relaxation.

This is a good example of where a factor may appear one way (yin or yang) but its effect on the body is the opposite.




Another powerful factor that modifies the yin-yang balance as much as food in all cases is psychology.  This means that certain approaches to life, attitudes, emotions and such, are yin and others are yang.

Here is where a total approach to healing is so important, rather than just diet, or just lifestyle, or just some therapy.  Without this total approach, many factors will invariably be missed by the practitioner.  It may not be necessary to consider all the lifestyle, dietary and other factors in the beginning, but eventually they matter a lot.

Here we also see why in ancient Chinese holistic medicine the doctor was taught to look at many things, from the shape of the head, the hands and other body parts, to the color of the skin, the tongue, the pulse, the excretions and more.  We must do some of this, too, though the hair analysis offers a remarkably simple means to evaluate a person’s overall condition, though it does not always tell us why one is the way he or she is.  Along with a few other simple items we will discuss later, it will suffice in most cases.


Yang Psychology = fast oxidizer psychology. The fast oxidizer mentality is yang.  People with these traits tend to be more confrontive, more engaging, more expressive emotionally, and more aggressive, arrogant, tight or uptight, angry overtly or easily angered, and in extreme cases paranoid. 

The voice tends to be higher, and the person more extroverted, positive in outlook, fun and happy, usually physically stronger and future-oriented rather than past-oriented.  There is usually more interest in sex, especially among the men.  They are “hot”, to use a teenager term, meaning they have higher hormone levels and are more interested in being social and sexual.  These traits are understood chemically very well and explained in the book, Development And Hair Mineral Analysis and other articles.

Other yang psychological qualities are groundedness, centeredness, reality-based rather than fanciful, hard-nosed, domineering, controlling, practical, business-like, on time, detail-oriented, mentally sharp and basically present in this reality.  In excess, they are too grounded and self-centered, closed to new ideas, selfish or self-centered, and too hard-nosed.


Yin Psychology = slow oxidizer attitudes and traits.  These traits tend to include being more relaxed, slower-moving, weaker, more emotional, often more fearful and depressed, apathetic, cloudy or mentally foggy, ethereal, and not nearly as well grounded or centered.  They tend to be less confronting, and more repressed or suppressed emotionally.  Their general demeanor is more “shattered”, which is a very yin tendency or direction of movement.

They are often eccentric in a different way, with lower energy, more confusion, and sometimes less interest in sex.  They are often more serious, definitely more negative in their outlook, and more often think and live in the past or what they believe was a happier, more glorious past.  They are more likely to use yin drugs such as marijuana, and are more dependent and often more child-like.  Children, however, are actually more yang than most adults because they are healthier and their bodies are more compact.  Hippies, for example, are much more yin in their attitudes and behavior than are most blue collar and physical laborers, who tend to be far more yang in their attitudes.

Most people, of course, are a mixture of these traits, just as their body chemistry is a mixture of various imbalances both yin and yang.  However, one or the other prevails.  A hair mineral analysis is often amazingly accurate to help one to know which set of traits is more likely present.  Note that all adult fast oxidizers are just slow oxidizers under a tremendous amount of stress, even if the mineral ratios appear good.  However, an adult with a fast oxidation pattern is much more likely to demonstrate more yang psychological qualities.


Other Major Influences On Yin And Yang. Personal habits matter, such as answering the call of nature quickly.  Otherwise one becomes quite depleted and yin.  Other factors are the colors one wears, aloneness versus being more social, one’s companions and partners, and more.  These may be discussed in a later article.  However, they are generally not as important as the factors discussed above.




It is interesting that the symbols of most major religions are those of balancing the forces of yin and yang.  This applies to the Christian cross, the Jewish star, the Taoist circle of yin and yang, and some others.  The Muslim symbol is not one of balance, interestingly.  


Environmental Yin And Yang.  Colder and wetter climates are more yin, while tropical or hotter and drier areas are far more yang.  Yin climates require more yang foods.  This can be why Eskimos do well on a diet of mostly meat and fat, two yang foods.

In contrast, people who live in tropical climates often eat more fruit and less cooked food, in general.  When people in a hot country eat more meat, they become too yang and often ill.  This often translates into aggressiveness, for example, as seen in a hot area – the Middle East.  Similarly, Eskimos would not fare well on a diet of fruit and would become ill.  Even the US army discovered this during World War II and had to alter its rations for the soldiers depending upon where they were fighting and living.

People in tropical climates often eat more hot peppers, in such nations as Mexico, India, Thailand and many other nations.  At first, this might seem strange since the peppers are “hot” in their taste.  However, peppers are, in fact, very yin foods although they may taste spicy or hot.


Altitude and other environmental factors.  A higher altitude is more yang, while a lower altitude is more yin.  This has to do with air pressure, specifically of oxygen, a very yin element.  So, for example, living by the ocean in sunny, warm California is quite yin.  One notices the attitudinal differences here, compared say to living in cold, high altitudes of Asia or even America.


The elements. Solid, heavier matter is more yang, while lighter elements are more yin.  So uranium, lead, cadmium and mercury, for example, are more yang.  However, radioactivity is extremely yin, so uranium is not quite as yang as the other heavy metals for this reason.

Lighter elements such as lithium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and even calcium and aluminum are more yin elements.  They also happen to be more alkaline-forming as well.

This is confusing, however, because although as one becomes healthier one removes the heavy metals, replacing them with the lighter, more yin elements, the body becomes much more yang, overall.  The reason is that the heavy metals, while more yang, are also incorrect for the body and cause total chaos, which is a very yin trait.  Reducing their amount and effect in the body thus reduces chaos and this has a very yangizing effect.


Weight and yin-yang balance.  An overweight body tends to be more yang in some ways because it is more massive.  However, in most cases today, the overweight people are far more yin because they are more ill, chaotic, “expanded” and toxic with too much sugar, water and other yin material.  Often, overweight people look waterlogged or “puffy” and expanded. 

It is very different from a body that is large but muscular only.  This body is much more yang, as muscle is more yang and dense than fat and water.


Body shape. The shape of the body is also related to yin and yang, as is everything.  Tall tends to be more yin, generally, while short and chunky is more yang.  This has to do with glandular effects, diet, genetics and other factors.  Not surprisingly, fast oxidizers tend to have a shorter, chunky build.  Slow oxidizers often have a tall and more light weight build. 

A heavier body can be more yang if the weight is mainly muscle.  Today, however, a heavier body means the body is more expanded, which is definitely a more yin quality.  Some bodies are obviously more yin because they look like a balloon and have a definite hollow and expanded look to them.  In contrast, those who are very slender or skinny are usually a little more yang because the body is more compact and compressed or tight.


Sunglasses.  Wearing sunglasses all the time might make the body a little more yin because it blocks the sun, which is more yang. 




            Western medicine largely ignores the concept of yin-yang balance in healing, but it is still a central idea in many Eastern systems of healing, particularly acupuncture.  It creeps into Western medicine as normal ranges for blood sugar, blood pressure and many other functions.  One knows that too much or too little of these are indicative of disease.

            About ninety-five percent of bodies today are yin in Chinese medical terminology.  Many are extremely yin.  Yin is associated with the qualities of being cold, still, expanded and chaotic. 

This corresponds exactly to slow oxidation on a properly performed and interpreted hair mineral analysis.  The hair must not be washed at the laboratory and the oxidation rate is determined by calculating the calcium/potassium and the sodium/magnesium ratios.   Yin or slow oxidation is defined as a calcium/potassium ratio greater than 4:1 and a sodium/magnesium ratio less than 4.17:1.




            Illness may be classified anatomically as yin or yang.  For example, osteoarthritis is characterized by deposition of calcium and other substances in the joints and may be said to be yang.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a degeneration of the joints and is more yin.  Solid tumors are more yang, while blood cancers such as leukemia are more yin.   Inflammation is generally “hot” and more yang, as are all painful conditions.  In contrast, the growth of silent tumors inside the body, as with most cancers, tends to be a very yin condition.  Indeed, cancer cells are somewhat like yeasts and fungi in their metabolism and these are “cold” infections.  Meanwhile, bacteria tend to cause “hot” or yang infections.  This can get quite complex.

            More important for the correction process is whether the cause is yin or yang.  Many times the same symptom can have either a yin or a yang cause.  In hair analysis interpretation, one finds that the same symptom may be due to fast oxidation or slow oxidation.  This is saying the same thing – that the cause can be yin or yang. 

Osteoporosis, for example, may be due to a calcium or copper deficiency in a fast oxidizer.  Part of the sympathetic nervous system response is excretion of calcium.  However, the same symptom may be due to biologically unavailable calcium in a slow oxidizer, a more yin condition.

            Since most bodies today are yin, most illness has a yin cause at its basis.  The symptom may appear yang - hot, hard or contracted.  However, the underlying cause is usually a yin imbalance.  A yin therapy such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy may eliminate a hard tumor, but the long-term effects are less curative and usually harmful.




Yang therapies. Among healing methods, the most yang are those involving heat and dryness.  Dry saunas, hyperthermia, fever therapy, sweating, heating herbs like ginger and burdock, coffee enemas, hot baths, exposure to the sun, heat lamps and fasting are examples.

Other are chiropractic manipulation, biofeedback, acupuncture, acupressure, some meditation that moves energy downward, some psychotherapy when it involves confronting the person, some hands-on healing or body work, and some color therapy with reddish, orange or yellow light.

            Yin therapies include raw foods, juices, cool or cold baths, colonic irrigation and Epsom salt baths.  Others are homeopathy, visualization, imagery, psychedelic drugs and the use of electrical machines.  Still others include most pharmaceuticals, surgery, radiation therapy and the use of most herbs and nutritional supplements.  Most meditation, relaxation and self-hypnosis also has a more yin effect.

Detoxification. Yin detoxification methods flush toxins with cool and watery energy.  They slow down overheated metabolism and reduce congestion.  Yang detoxification methods tonify and energize the system, and contract the cells, forcing poisons out. The principles of yin and yang healing apply equally to conventional as well as holistic therapies. 


            A need for yang therapies today. As more people become yin, they require more yang therapies.  This is one reason for more and more problems occurring with antibiotic overuse and vegetarian diets – both of which are more yin.

It is also a problem with some natural therapies.  For example, a friend is a cancer counselor who has observed the results of many alternative cancer therapies.  She reports poorer results with the Gerson therapy and related approaches that rely on raw foods and juices. 

This therapy used to offer excellent results.  Most likely, this is because more bodies were more yang at the time Dr. Gerson developed the therapy in the 1920s and 1930s.  Yin therapy may get rid of tumors which are yang, but cannot fully rebuild a body that is more yin.




            This is the approach I suggest for most people.    It involves a diet of kelp, sea salt, meats and especially cooked yang root vegetables.   One avoids yin foods such as sugar, sweet juices, most fruit, most raw food, and the nightshade vegetables and other vegetables that are botanically fruits.

            To this are added food supplements and herbs that are primarily yang or less yin.  We do not use most herbs, most green drinks, or high doses of vitamin C or other vitamins, for example.

More yang herbs include ginger, burdock, dandelion, milk thistle, skullcap, nettles and black radish.  

            Mineral therapy is somewhat yang and very necessary today due to congenital nutrient deficiencies, refined food diets, poor quality food, stress and other factors that deplete nutrients. 

            Yang procedures. Development may also involve dry sauna therapy, infrared lamp therapy and red light therapy.  Red light assists the first energy center and organs such as the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands.  This is exactly what most people need.

            Some say light therapy should focus on the upper centers - blue, green and violet.  However, I find that most patients I see live in those upper centers most of the time.  Copper toxicity, which is very common, has the effect of speeding up mental processes and enhancing emotions and analytical thinking.

            Rest and sleep, and other lifestyle factors. Another vital yang therapy is rest and sleep.  Most people do not get nearly enough rest.  I also suggest spending about half an hour a day in the sun, if possible, another yang therapy.

Also excellent is to let go of all victim thinking, as this is very yin and disempowering.  This includes all political philosophies that endorse and promote the concept of victims and victimhood.  Feeling sorry for some group or other, and offering them special benefits is extremely popular today, but not particularly beneficial for anyone. 

            Much better are political and moral belief systems that support people learning to help and govern themselves, rather than accepting 'benefits' or 'entitlements' of any sort.  This view promotes personal empowerment and is more yang.  Unfortunately, this perspective is not so popular today.

            Yang therapy is appropriate for about 95% of adults and a somewhat smaller percentage of children.  The others require less cooked vegetables, less animal products, fewer saunas and more fruit and juices. 

Many who appear yang are not really so.  They are merely toxic in a certain way that appears yang.  Certain toxic metals such as cadmium are either so yang themselves or they cause changes in the nervous system that make a person appear very yang.  However, they are weak underneath, often extremely so.   When toxins such as cadmium, lead, mercury and others are released, the person’s true yin condition becomes obvious.

            Understanding yin and yang detoxification helps explain why a particular therapy may work for a while, but then stops working.  It also explains why a therapy may have worked well one hundred years ago, but is less helpful today.  It can also explain why a therapy or approach such as drug medicine helps some people, but not others.




            I suggest that yang methods of relaxation are far better today, mainly because our world is more yin today.  This means that more yang methods are far more likely to balance the body than the yin methods.

            Examples of more yang methods of relaxation include napping and sleeping, the Roy Masters meditation, walking, gardening, mild or gentle exercise, hugging or kissing, and some body therapies such as Rolfing, structural integration and a few others.

            Examples of more yin methods people use to relax include having sex, use of drugs such as marijuana and other sedatives, use of stimulant drugs, some types of vigorous exercise such as running or jogging, and the use of many types of meditation that scatter one’s thoughts or move energy upward through the body.  While these methods are effective in some cases, I do not recommend them in development science, as they tend to be far more harmful for the body and mind.




            There is some disagreement among acupuncturists and those who study oriental philosophy regarding what is yin and what is yang.  Most agree, however, that yang is contracted, hot, masculine, active, aggressive, salty, loud, red in color and under the earth as opposed to above.  Yin is cold, damp, still, receptive, feminine, grows above ground, blue or purple in color and more ethereal.

            Yin and yang organs.  Hollow organs are more yin such as the lungs, intestines, heart and stomach.  The lungs are the most yin, as they are literally spongy and airy.  The more solid organs are more yang such as the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas and all the glands.

            For more about acupuncture and development science, read Acupuncture on this website.




Understanding Yin And Yang

Yin and Yang Healing

Yin Disease






Kushi, M., Order Of The Universe (magazines) 1970+


Nickel, D., 1995, Int. J. Acupuncture  and Oriental Med, 6:1-4; p 26-29.  (this article explores how supplements used in development science correlate with acupuncture herbs in their mineral content.  The latter are based on assessing yin and yang with the acupuncture pulses and many other methods of assessment.



All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


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