A Brief Discussion of the Relationship Between Illness, the Four Seasons and the Four Parts of a Day

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According to The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Script, an ancient Chinese medical reference book, all illnesses arise from dryness, humidity, cold, heat, wind, rain, imbalances between Yin and Yang, happiness, anger, dietary imbalances and an inauspicious residence location. The ill person frequently feels better at dawn and during the daytime, but may feel worse at dusk and at night. In other words, the symptoms of an illness may intensify at dusk and get even worse at night.

What is the explanation for these phenomena? Our ancestors believed that man embodied heavenly elements; therefore, man’s health is affected by changes in the weather, the seasons and the climate. There is an ancient Chinese saying: “Birth is in the spring, growth is in the summer, harvest is in the autumn and storage is in the winter.” This saying can be applied to the energy of the human body. There are also four distinct parts of a day, including morning (spring), mid-day or noon (summer), dusk (autumn) and night (winter).

In the morning, the human energy is growing, so the spirit of the illness declines. At noon, the human energy continues to increase, so the spirit of the illness withdraws further. When human energy grows, it can overcome the illness. During this time, man feels well. At dusk when the sun goes down, the human energy begins to decline in correspondence with nature; therefore, the spirit of the illness starts to climb. At night, the human energy returns to the body, which means human energy returns to within the internal organs; therefore, the illness will occupy the surface of the human body. This is when the spirit of the illness is at its peak, which makes the symptoms of the illness get worse. This is the reason why illness is closely related to the four seasons, and the four parts of a day.

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