Emotions and Illness

In the progression of disease, Chinese Medicine looks at serious, life-threatening disease (tumors, autoimmune diseases, etc) as severe Qi blockage that has been so long-standing that the tissues are severely compromised. In this case, treatment would include various modalities, including regular Qi emission therapy, homework prescriptions of Qigong exercises, diet modification and integration of Qigong techniques to resolve emotional and mental issues. Move the Qi and the tissues will be positively influenced.

In the healthy body, each organ has a frequency, a temperature, a damp/dry optimum level and moves the Qi in a certain way. When this organ is affected by a strong emotions and thoughts, it causes the Qi to cease to move in its natural flow because the mind moves the Qi. This will change the conditions of hot/cold and damp/dry within the organ. The organ then no longer functions properly. For example, the stomach naturally moves the Qi downward (think of it moving the food along the digestive tract). When the Qi is affected adversely, it moves the Qi upward and the person will vomit. If the stomach is too hot, too cold, too damp, too dry, it will cause indigestion, or more serious issues.
In Chinese Medicine, the organs are thought to hold memories of our emotions. For instance:
When someone has a disease of the lung, it is natural to look for an event in the life that provoked grief.  The event could be horrific, such as the death of a family member or job loss, or, it could be less significant like having to cancel vacation plans. (The person is sad because she can’t go on vacation. The lung holds grief).
In the cycle of the 5 elements:
The Lung (Metal) nurtures Kidney (Water)
The Lung (Metal) reduces or consumes Spleen (Earth)
The Lung (Metal) Controls Liver (Wood)
Therefore, because of the 5 element cycle, no organ can operate alone. Not only is the Lung affected by the grief or sadness, but, in turn, the Kidneys (lack of nourishment), Spleen (lack of controlling balance and potential for excess) and Liver (lack of controlling balance and potential for excess) will also be affected.
In a real-life scenario, the emotional response to an event is usually more complicated than this simple example. However, from this simple case, it’s easy to see how the relationship of the organs effect each other and how one simple event can cause imbalance in the body. If these imbalances aren’t rectified to relieve the distress, the imbalance can become the basis for a very toxic physical condition.
To elaborate on the scenario of the missed family vacation: You plan a trip to Disneyland with your family. At work, your company gets a new client who demands a tight turn around for her next project. The deadline is exactly when you are planning to be away. Your boss has asked you to lead the project. You cannot be away on vacation.
  • You feel anger at the situation (liver)
  • You feel sadness because you can’t take your family on vacation (lungs)
  •  You worry because your family is also sad, mad and unhappy (spleen)
  • You are stressed and anxious because the success or failure of this huge project falls on your shoulders (heart)
  • The anger, grief, sadness and anxiety causes Qi blockage or stagnation in the liver, lungs, spleen and heart.
  • The organs thus accumulate heat and dampness or cold and dryness. They lose homeostasis or balance.
  • The organs fail to move the Qi as they should
  • The organs fail to function properly
  • Bacteria, virus, fungus grow in one or more of these organs.
  • You develop digestion issues, breathing issues or blood pressure issues
  • Illness ensues
A clinical energetic assessment using TCM would seek to determine the root cause of the malady. In different individuals, this cause might be very different and is therefore treated differently for each case. The root cause may well be the influence of long-standing unresolved emotions. Read Part 2 for this discussion.

To attain knowledge, add things everyday.

To attain wisdom, remove things every day.

Lao Tsu, Dao de Jing




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