“This is by far the most difficult article I have ever written. It took me 1,5 months to complete it. In short this is an article in a series about women. The angles are a combination between Chinese medicine, Chinese psychology and Western science. Many aspects are written sharply to provoke and to enhance ideas and important points. The references in the article will be published on the seminars “Women and TCM”. For men this article will be an eye opener, and for women it will give an increased self-insight.
Welcome to read The user manual for Women. Enjoy.”
For a long period of time, physiology was thought to be the same for both genders, and research was normally done with the male gender due to research complications with the female menstruation cycle. The menstruation gave strange findings in the research so that is why women were normally excluded. We know that men and women share 99% of their DNA, but the 1% creates a huge difference. Researchers have concluded that with a 0.1% -0.5%, individuals differentiate between humans (Chimpanzee 1.2%). Just to have mentioned it, chimpanzees differ from our human DNA with 2-4%, cats differ with 10%, cows 20% and chicken 40%. Coming back to the 1% difference between men and women, it makes the male brain 9% larger, but still with the same amount of brain cells as the smaller female brain. Let us explore this 1% with Western – and Chinese medical sciences.
Within 性别 Xìngbié Gender discussions within Chinese medicine, men are considered to be Yang and women Yin. Yang is the active, masculine, moving and protective. Yin is the quiet, feminine, calm and defensive. Men have more muscular tissue, and women have more fat tissue. Men get six-pack and women get hips. Research has shown that there are two depressed women for one depressed man, and that the difference starts around the age of 14 when the girl enters the Yang Fire period. It does not require a lot of fantasy to connect the beginning of menstruation and ovulation to the time period between 12 and 14 years of age. Making us discover different female chemistry for real starting from puberty. It is said that the female brain changes up to 25% in their hormonal levels in the 28 days cycle. This 25% variation might create an incredible hormonal ride for some women, a ride that is normally characterized as a dark age by most women, all this in addition to the normal changes.
These hormones CREATE the female perception of reality. In other words, the hormones ARE her reality since they create her perception of reality. What a woman experiences might be connected to the side effects – or effects of the hormones. That does not mean that her perception is not correct, but the world view of a woman is partly hormonal created and maintained. In Chinese medicine we do not have an equivalent concept for hormones. The closest we come is San Jiao, which explains a system that might correspond with our metabolism. Besides San Jiao Chinese medicine has little to present directly. It is normal to associate aspects of the five elements to the different aspects the hormones might present, and to compare aspects to the Chinese medicine life cycle. Further on five elements, cyclical changes in the body might be associated with hormones and hormonal variations.
During the life stages we find different aspects shine and others fade away; girl, adolescent, dating years, motherhood and menopause. All life stages are dominated by distinct aspects. We might observe distinct emotions, interests, moods and thoughts in these stages. The neurological reality in women is in constant change, but in a man it is more stable. According to Chinese psychology we have five mental stages, and Chinese medicine has five development stages that are divided into five Yang and five Yin. Each stage has its own characteristics. You will start with the first stage and go stage by stage until you are ready for the next lap in the cycle; first the Yang stages and then the Yin stages. The basic, builds around the understanding that girls develop in seven-year cycles and boys in eight year cycles. This means that Chinese medicine states that the different genders evolve in different speed and manner since a person who is Yin by nature will behave different from a person that is Yang. The first stage is Yang Wood; that makes a Yin person more yang than normal and a Yang person, super Yang. Men are Yang by nature and women Yin by nature, creating an interesting development and structure. The stages are the pre-dominant bases for behavior in the time period in life. Sometimes we find the life cycle undermining the person’s personality, and sometimes we find it enhancing the personality. The development starts with Roun, then follows Chen, I Pro and finally Teche personality stage. The duration of each stage are relatively fixed. Girls follow a 7 years cycle that give us a change at the following ages: 7 years, 14 years, 21 years, 28 years and 35 years. After completing the cycle, another 7 years cycle starts. Boys get the following 8 years cycle: 8 years, 16 years, 24years, 32 years and 40 years. After completing the cycle, another 8 years cycle starts. The life builds around this repetitive cycle. The first cycle in Yang dominated and the second Yin dominated. Another way to see this 8 – and 7 years cycle from a Chinese medicine point of view are according to the Five element theory. The first cycle is Yang charged and follows the development from Wood to Fire, Earth, Metal and finally Water. Then a second cycle starts. It follows the same path, but this one is Yin charged.
Let us dig a little deeper into this cyclical model from the Chinese medicine. The basic female cycle builds around the 7 years development lap. A girl will go through her Wood phase from the age of 0 to the age of 7. Here she will grow, develop and enjoy an impulsive life without worries. Here we find a tendency to liver zang related problems. From 7 to 14 years we find the girl go through the Fire phase. Here she will start to become gradually more active and grow much in size. This phase is associated with heart zang. In the age from 14 to 21 years we find the girl to be in the Earth phase. In the earth phase we find her to develop into an adolescent. She will get her period and might become pregnant. This period is related to spleen zang. . The time of manifestation of her period partly depends on her fat percentage. In the age from 21 to 28 years the woman will be in the Metal phase, making her body fully developed and fit. She will have goals in life and reach for them, marry and make a family. This is the period connected to lung zang. In the age from 28 to 35 years we find her going into the last stage of the cycle, the Water phase. Here she will experience rearing children. She might develop some signs of degeneration of the body. This period are related to the kidney zang.
Another cycle is Yin/ Yang, where winter is Yin and summer is Yang. Besides this, we also have the night is Yin and day is Yang. Yang aspects will blossom in Yang and Yin aspects in the Yin period. We also have the famous organ clock that gives us a daily variation in the organs. A quick draft of the strongest time for the different organs in the organ clock is like this. 12 AM Heart zang, 2 PM Small intestine fu, 4 Pm Urinary bladder fu, 6 PM Kidney zang, 8 PM Pericardium zang, 10 PM San Jiao fu, 12 PM Gall bladder fu, 2 AM Liver zang, 4 AM Lung zang, 6 AM Large intestine fu, 8 AM Stomach fu, 10 AM Spleen zang and the cycle starts again. This means that we have a 7 year five element cycle, one yearly cycle and another daily cycle (Zang fu).
Chinese psychology operates with personalities, and personality dominated periods. The personalities follow the same progression as the five element cycle. Wood is Roun, Fire is Chenn, Earth is I, Metal is Pro, and Water is Teche. The first cycle with the five aspects are dominated by Yang, meaning that the aspects are active and progressive. The first aspect in the cycle is Yang Roun; 0-7 years. Yang Roun is active and impulsive, searching for new aspects and like to experiment. The second aspect is Yang Chenn; 7 – 14 years. Yang Chenn actively absorbs information, making decisions and developing mental abilities. The third aspect is Yang I; 14 – 21 years. Yang I is active use of senses and a light nervousness. The person might show likes and no likes. The fourth aspect is Yang Pro; 21 – 28 years. Yang Pro is an active planner of the future. Develops strategies and uses others to get there. The fifth aspect is Yang Teche; 28 – 35 years. Yang Teche is an active deep thinker that uses the long-term memory often. The person might be a little sexual in the pattern of thinking. Then comes the start of the second cycle. The second cycle is dominated by Yin, making the person calmer. The first aspect is Yin Roun; 35-42 years. Yin Roun is more laid back and relaxed, but still creative, impulsive and does not think deep about his doings. Sexual affairs might happen frequently. The second aspect is Yin Chenn; 42 – 49 years. Yin Chenn is focusing on stable decisions and little is left for the fantasy. This period is more dedicated to self –realization of old wishes. The third aspect is Yin I; 49 – 56 years. Yin I is a reduced gathering of information and less sensitivity towards aspects. The Yin I calms down and becomes less neurotic. The fourth aspect is Yin Pro; 56 – 63 years. Yin Pro is more negative than before and might be using/ abusing others; everything future minded. The fifth aspect is Yin Teche; 63 – 70 years. Yin Teche is calmer and deeper. The person wants to really find the depth of everything, and if it was slow before then it is slower now. Then the third cycle starts. The third cycle is Yang charged, making the aspects more active. Yang Roun; 70 – 77 years. Yang Chenn; 84 – 91 years. Yang I; 91 – 98 years. Yang Pro; 98 – 105 years. Yang Teche; 105 – 112 years.
Chinese psychology focuses especially on people who go back in stages instead of going forward. Hui shi means that the person goes from a stage he has entered BACK to a previous stage; normally the stage he just passed or a stage he had before. For example a person that is in a Yang Chen stage moves back to a Yang Roun stage. In all regressions we experience everything from a discrete small temporarily step back in the model, to the more semi-permanent dominant childish regressions. We find Bian yuan (borderlines) have more frequent and more violent changes in cyclical models. They also really like Hui shi (regression); Hui shi might be used as an indicator for Bian yuan.
The general difference between genders makes men and women develop different mental sensitivity. Men are yang and women are yin. This indicates that men are yang in their yin aspects, and women yin in their yang aspects. Following that they will approach conflicts and stressing situations with a different strategy. Depending on your gender different brain circuits will be used when solving problems. Men will initially show Yang and the Yin. Women will start with Yin and then go over to Yang. Your gender will define your language processing and emotional experience. Language processing is Pro related and the emotional experience is Hun related. Hun and Po are in a special relation in the context as the corporal – and ethereal souls. We should never forget the sex specific brain tasks under guidance of hormones. Evolution has given the woman a larger Hippocampus (the center for emotions and memory), 11% more neurons in the brains language – and hearing center, and 2,5 times smaller center for sexual interest compared to men (thereby saving herself from unwanted pregnancies). As a result Women observe aspects with people, and Men on the other side calculate potential mating partners and – competitors. We also find the Amygdala to be smaller among women. The function of the amygdala is to register fear and to create aggressive reactions. This might be the reason why women are more interested in avoiding conflicts than engaging in them; selecting Yin techniques. Strictly practically women register stress, but do not fight as easy as a man. Women have instincts that create reactions TO threatening situations, but not as a man that might CREATE that situation. Men with his Yang will actively create and make situations women with her Yin will observe and adjust according to the (male created) situations. Remember women is Yin and thereby calm and calculating. Men are Yang and thereby reckless and more superficial. Women feel the everyday fear stronger than men; fear is related to Kidney zang. Her brain reacts as if her family were in danger. For a man to react in the same way he needs to perceive an immediate danger; women do not perceive, they just feel and suffer. This is called biological instincts. Biological instincts are located in our congenital essence, making our DNA responsible for these traits. Since men are yang and women yin we will find different active aspects from the congenital essence depending on the gender. Genders got different motivations behind their behavior. When we understand the underlying or latent motivations we will understand the genders better.
Gender differences have their origin in the increased estrogen levels in the female, and the increased testosterone levels in the male. We might say that the cyclical changes according to Chinese medicine and Chinese psychology are intimate related to hormonal changes; remember Qi is a movement, cyclical. Thus making the origin based in the congenital essence and thereby Kidney zang. Estrogen will create a focus on both emotions and communication; and testosterone will ironically create less focus on communication, but an increased focus on winning games and reproduction. Estrogen is Yin compared to testosterone that is Yang. Since the female gender have this obsession for communication and an emotionally guided focus they tend to be attracted to social studies. Women got very high verbal skills, great abilities to get friends, almost professional level in avoiding – and solving conflicts, and a capacity to read faces, behavior, voices and whatever behind our imagination, a woman is a social expert by birth (!) – Yin. When a woman select herself a career we find this to correlate with her hormonal peak, and thereby related to her cycle, congenital essence and Li. Just as a digression, girls like chatting and boys playing football; social and physical – Yin and Yang.
A Yin/ Yang polarity tend to search for accumulation. A Yin gender enjoys Yin factors and a Yang gender enjoys Yang factors. We will find women, Yin gender, develop preferences for Yin factors as communication, quietness, passivity, increase their social abilities, home, children, etc. Yin attracts to Yin in this level of reason.
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