Getting to know you if you are more Yin or a Yang person…
People shake hands when they wish to know each other. Yet little do they realise how much there is to know!
If you know yin and yang, you will find that a simple handshake reveals a lot about a person – including the person’s favourite foods and his or her health condition.
Part of this information comes from feeling the texture of the palm, which has been discussed in the last chapter, Your Body: Daily Condition. More information comes from the grip.
Whenever I mention this, people will argue that the grip can be trained. People in sales, marketing and related work, for example, may be taught how to give a nice, firm handshake that is neither too hard nor too soft. Still, there are things that a person cannot hide – especially from a macrobiotic person who is trained in the art of “handshake diagnosis”.
A strong, tight – and sometimes painful – grip indicates that the person has strong yang / contracting energy. Such a person probably eats a great deal of meat.
A soft, light and almost gripless handshake indicates a yin / expanded condition. Such a person does not have enough contracting force to give a firm handshake.
There is yet another type of handshake. The fingers remain straight. The hand is absolutely hard and stiff. This is an extreme yang / contracted condition whereby the hand is so hard and stiff that it cannot bend to grip. In fact, the entire body is this way. This is due not just to eating meat, but also plenty of salt. They body becomes crystalised, like salt!
Older Singaporeans might recall the late President Benjamin Sheares being like this. I used to watch him on TV shaking hands with foreign dignitries and was always struck by how straight and stiff his hands were.
What about yourself? You cannot evaluate your own handshake, so you might want to get some feedback from your friends.
But observe yourself. Once, while driving, I suddenly realised that I was gripping the steering wheel of my car very tightly. I was a lot more yang / contracted than I thought I was.
Don’t drive? Observe how you grip the railing or handles when you are standing on a bus or MRT train. Do you grip loosely or tightly? Are you yin or yang?
You might say that you grip tightly because the bus ride has been jerky and you were afraid you might fall. That’s true too. But that also has to do with yin and yang. When you sense that you are in danger, you automatically tense up. You become yang / contracted when you are under stress. We will talk more about this later.
For now, it might be more useful to observe yourself when you are not doing anything, when you are supposedly “relaxed”. How do you hold yourself? Are you clenching your fists for no particular reason? You may not be as relaxed as you think you are.
Once, I was standing next to a man in an elevator. He was not doing anything in particular, just allowing the lift to take him up a tall building. Yet his fists were tightly clenched, hie was “clenching” his lips as well such that his mouth was very tightly shut. He was so yang / contracted.
The way you hold yourself while “doing nothing” tells a lot about your condition.
- Do you sit straight and tight (yang / contracted) or do you slouch loosely (yin / expanded)?
- Do you sit with your legs wide open (yin / expanded), with your legs closed (yang / contracted) or with your legs crossed (even more yang / contracted).
- Do you grip your toes (yang / contracted)?
- Do you normally cross or fold your arms (yang / contracted) or let them hang loose (yin / expanded).
- Do you sleep curled up (yang / contracted) or with your arms and legs spread out (yin / expanded)?
Observe yourself. Much self-discovery awaits you.