Macrobiotics has made the yin yang theory very easy to understand. For a while, just forget about words like yin or yang and think in terms of expansion and contraction. A few examples will make this clearer.
If you pour water or oil on a flat surface, the water or oil will spread outwards. We say the water or oil has "expanding energy". If you break open an egg and pour it out, even though the egg is liquid, it does not expand outwards. Instead, you can almost visualise a "contracting force" holding the egg together and preventing it from spreading.
Or consider tropical fruits... they are soft, watery and often have a strong smell - that is, the smell spreads far and wide. These are again expanding qualities. In contrast, temperate fruits like apples and pears are more harm and firm and they do not have a strong smell.
Everything - every food, person or phenomena - can be seen to be either expanding or contracting. In the macrobiotic theory of yin and yang - which is different from the traditional Chinese version of this theory - expanding energy is called yin and contracting energy is called yang.
If we look at the flu, we can also analyse it in terms of yin and yang. Let's look at the common flu symptoms:
All these and more tell us that, in the theory of yin and yang, the flu is considered a yin disease. The condition of a person who has the flu is, in many ways, "expanded".
Yin and yang at the cellular level
This state of expandedness goes all the way down to the cellular level. When you have the flu, your cells are expanded.
In fact, this is why you get "attacked" by the flu virus in the first place. On its own, the flu virus - and other types of viruses - are harmless. They just exist but they cannot grow and multiply. Viruses need to enter your cells before they can be activated; before they can cause any harm.
How do viruses enter your cells?
Well, your cell walls have tiny holes for nutrients to enter and for toxins to be discharged. Imagine what happens when the cells expand and become larger? Well, those tiny holes become larger as well. Up to a point, they will become large enough to let viruses in.
When you understand yin and yang at the cellular level, then you will know how to avoid the flu - avoid becoming too yin or "expanded" in the first place.
This does not mean you should only eat yang foods and make your body very yang or contracted. If you do, you might avoid the flu but develop other, yang-type health problems instead. The key to health, as always, is balance.
Yin and yang health check
Here are some simple ways to check your condition in terms of yin and yang, whether you are too expanded or contracted:
And so on. There are many ways to check your condition. And you can learn more about marcobiotics and about yin and yang at www.natural-cancer-cures.com
For now, what we want to know is how to use this understanding of yin and yang to prevent and treat the flu. If you have the flu, or you are the sort of person who catches the flu easily, then your conditon is obviously yin / expanded.
So to prevent the flu, you should minimise your intake of yin foods:
How much water to drink?
Flu patients are usually told to drink plenty of water and this is good advice. When you have the flu, your body is fighting an infection and a lot of toxins are produced in the process. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out these toxins.
But if you do not have the flu and you want to prevent the flu, then it is not a good idea to drink plenty of water. You need to drink enough, but don't go overboard.
Why? In this case, you don't even need the theory of yin and yang to understand the reason. All you need is to understand the process of osmosis, which you would have learned in primary or secondary school science. During osmosis, water always flows from the less salty (more diluted) to the more salty (more concentrated) medium.
Now the fluid in your cells is slightly salty. When you drink plenty of water, you dilute the fluid outside your cells. So your cells will absorb water. What happens next? Your cells expand... and the gaps in the cell membrane enlarge, allowing viruses to enter.
Of course, the theory of yin and yang will also lead you to the same conclusion. Water in yin / expanded. Drinking plenty of water will make your condition yin / expanded and so make you vulnerable to virus attack.
Saturated vs unsaturated fats
As we read in another article about saturated fats, cholesterol and polyunsaturated sats, there is yet another way in which viruses can enter your cells - and cause havoc.
Your cell walls are made primarily of saturated fats and cholesterol. If you avoid these two food substances, and take polyunsaturated fats instead, your cell walls weaken and make it easier for viruses to enter.
In terms of yin and yang, we see that:
So once again, we arrive at the same conclusion - an excess of yin foods will make the body more vulnerable to diseases like the flu.
A yin and yang 'test'
To end off, here is a test question for you... Are viruses yin or yang?
Well, if you know the nature of virues, you should know the answer. Viruses are very small, compact organisms, about 1/100th the size of bacteria. So viruses are extremely yang / contracted.
So what is happening here? Well, according to yin yang theory, opposites attract. Yin attracts yang, and vice versa. It means that when your body condition is yin, you attract viruses, which are yang.
So it is that viruses make you sick? Or is it that you become sick first? You become too yin. And when that happens, you attract viruses?
This is food for thought, for it again questions the widely accepted germ theory of disease.