Yinyang wuxing

When I used to run a Chinese healing clinic, sometimes people would ask me: “What’s your religion?” And I’d answer yinyang wuxing. The person would then ask, “Is there such a religion?”

Well, maybe not, at least not in the way that one usually associates with religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  There are no churches, mosques or temples for my belief, but it is a theory and system that does regulate what I do and how I view the world around me.

Yinyang theory sees that all animate things live and die following a regulation of change, when wood becomes too dry it becomes fire; fire burns down to soil; soil sticks together and becomes metal; metal absorbs moisture and creates water, and water then nurtures wood. If the change goes smoothly, things are balanced and lives are healthy. When the cycle of change breaks down then life disappears.

When it comes to treating illness, it’s no more than supporting wood growth, maintaining the free and even flow of the water passages, keeping soil sticky and friable, grounding the heart fire so the spirit can be both calm and active, and keeping metal cool and fresh. This is how we look after our health, and also how we should look after the world we live in.

With the books I’ve written, I always have my husband read and check them over many times. He grumbles and complains a great deal about having to do it, but after the last book he said “I think I got it. I can now open my own yinyang wuxing healing clinic.” I was very pleased to hear him say that, because my main aim in writing is to make yinyang wuxing understandable to as many people as possible. So I guess this is why I call it my religion.

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