Life, Art, and Acupuncture…It’s a Balancing Act!
Positive and Negative….Finding Balance
In life, the terms positive and negative are generally associated with good and bad attributes. Positive events or feelings are generally viewed as as good. Negative events or feelings are viewed as bad.
Positive and negative can also refer to levels of activity in our lives. There are times when we are extremely busy and on the go constantly, and other times when we are idle. Our culture values productivity very highly, while idleness must be defended lest it be perceived as lazy, or slothful.
But in life as in art, creating balance between positive and negative energy is a challenge. Although there exists a cultural bias towards the positive, it is essential that we also embrace the negative.
In art: positive space generally refers to the areas that are the subjects, or area of interest. Negative space is the area around and between the subjects or area of interest. Without negative space there would be no picture. What makes a composition interesting is the balance between the two; how well they work together. Art and design that is well balanced between positive and negative space is generally viewed as “good.”
In music: The term negative space is used to indicate silence within a piece. Without silence between the notes, there would be no music. The pauses create rhythm and tempo.
In Dance: positive space is the movement, while the negative space is the area around the movement, Also the balance between motion and stillness is described in positive and negative terms. When a dance has a lively balance between movement and stillness, high energy and quiet, we find beauty in the dance.
I’ll bet you are wondering what all this has to do with acupuncture?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) seeks to balance the opposite or contrary forces of Yin and Yang. Whether the practitioner works with needles, herbs, or modifying the diet, the main goal ALWAYS, is to balance Yin and Yang.
If you will look at activity as the object of art, it should be surrounded by the “negative space” of rest. For example: To perform their very best, professional athletes follow a strict regimen which balances training with rest.
When we look at a person’s posture, balance between left and right, top and bottom, and between front and back make the appearance attractive. Imbalance is always an indicator of some problem.
Many menopausal women are familiar with the problem of “too much heat,” which in Chinese medicine is treated as “not enough Yin” condition. If you have enough Yin, your Yang is under control and temperature is normal.
In the case of infectious disease,“too much heat” occurs when an outside invasion fights with the immune system producing fever and inflammation. Again, rest and fluids help balance the heat and inflammation.
Acupuncture is a powerful tool in TCM to bring balance and harmony between positive and negative energy. And there is an art to reading the Yin and Yang patterns within a patient.
To live a harmonious life we must keep both the positive and negative energies in balance. It truly is a dance!
Here is a link to Group Pilobolus — Amazing Shadow Dance Theatre:
I hope you ENJOY!
The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Xia Xin, L.Ac., CSMA