The human body is an amazing system that is incredibly intelligent and incredibly affected by how we feel. In modern medicine, we tend to view the body in a very mechanical way and that the physiological functions and organs are from some reason ‘detached’ from our emotions. If you think about it, if we are physically not feeling well, we would usually blame the common cold, a certain food we ate or some sort of exercise that maybe we did improperly. But rarely do we think physical pain is caused from a certain emotion.
The emotional wellbeing is an extremely important aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Each emotion is associated with an organ and when out of balance or when the emotions become excessive, repressed or turned inward, they then can become pathological and cause diseases. Interestingly enough, the organs also correlate to our chakras as well! So as you can see, the mind and body are once again proven to be interconnected.
ANGER – LIVER
Anger directly affects the liver. The liver is the organ responsible for cleaning the blood. When someone is angry, we have the expression “their blood is boiling”. When one keeps anger in, the energy of the liver can rise to the head, resulting in headaches, dizziness and a long term result is high blood pressure. Also, avoiding outbursts of anger can protect the liver.
PENSIVENESS – SPLEEN
Pensiveness or better known as “TOO MUCH THINKING” or worry can be considered as excessive mental stimulation. The organ that is most directly affected is the spleen. In western medicine, the spleen is responsible for producing white blood cells and removing old red blood cells. In TCM, the spleen is paired with the Stomach, and are responsible for digestion in the body. An imbalance could lead to bloating, poor digestion, fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhea and more.
GRIEF or SADNESS – LUNGS
Sadness directly affects the lungs. The lungs are responsible for our respiration, they control the flow of energy in our bodies. Therefore it is important to give ourselves space to deal with a painful event and to express this emotion in a natural healthy way, such as through sobbing. Sadness can be a tough emotion to deal with because of the pain that can arise and can often times be an emotion that is repressed. An imbalance can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue, catching colds easily, headaches and basically give a poor function of the lungs in circulating the vital energy (Qi) through the body.
FEAR – KIDNEYS
Fear is an emotion that affects the kidneys. In TCM, the Kidney is the powerhouse of the body, it supplies reserve energy to any organ running low on Qi (vital energy). So fear is a normal emotion that must be adapted, but in extreme cases it can be chronic if we ignore it. Kidney issues often arise when dealing with changes in life direction or unstable living conditions. A kidney imbalance can be seen in frequent urination, night sweats, poor short term memory, lower back pain, sore or weak knees, hair that turns grey prematurely and lowered libido. In more serious cases, fear could lead to chronic weakness.
JOY – HEART
Finally, a happy emotion – JOY! Joy is an emotion of the HEART. When we experience true happiness, we nourish our heart. And even if we have more than enough joy to go around, good emotions can also be out of balance! On the contrary, when we lack joy, the heart suffers and we can feel mentally stuck, chaotic, have a lack of enthusiasm and perhaps have difficulty sleeping. Too much heart energy can lead to agitation, heart palpitations and insomnia.
So therefore, it is important for us as humans, to not only be physically healthy but mentally healthy as well. Very often we put much effort into our diet and physical wellbeing, often forgetting that our emotional state is just as important. Often times we don’t want to be considered ‘so emotional’ and pretend like things don’t bother us or maybe we exaggerate too much and release all of our emotions out too much. Just like everything in life, a healthy balance is required, never too much and never too little. Be honest with yourself and express yourself because when you don’t, your body will express it for you, whether you like it or not. Therefore, take care of yourself inside and out. A normal healthy expression of ourselves and emotions is important in living a happy healthy life. <3