Emotional Healing & Wellness

Chinese Medicine links various emotions to human body’s organs in the following way:

  • The kidney is linked to fear

  • The liver is with anger

  • The spleen to worry/over thinking

  • The lung to sadness

  • ​The heart is linked to excessive joy

Emotional Issues & Symptoms
Stress
Anxiety
Emotional Eating
Overthinking
(Spleen problem)
Uncontrollable Crying
(Lung Problem)
Uncontrollable Laughing
(Heart Problem)
Mental Disorders
Confidence
(Heart & Kidney)
Executive Ability
(Liver & Kidney)
Focus
(Spleen)
Persistence
(Kidney)
Decision Making
(Gallbladder)
Abilities Related to Internal Organs Functions

Mind-Body Relationships in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Suwen (The Book of Plain Questions) says "The five yin-organs of the human body produce five kinds of essential qi, which bring forth joy, anger, grief, worry, and fear." TCM also believes that certain organs are related to emotional activities, i.e. the heart is related to joy, the liver to anger, the spleen to pensiveness, the lungs to anxiety and the kidneys to fear. 

The emotions are considered the major internal causes of disease in TCM. Emotional activity is seen as a normal, internal, physiological response to stimuli from the external environment. Within normal limits, emotions cause no disease or weakness in the body. However, when emotions become so powerful that they become uncontrollable and overwhelm or possess a person, then they can cause serious injury to the internal organs and open the door to disease. It is not the intensity as much as the prolonged duration or an extreme emotion, which causes damage. While Western physicians tend to stress the psychological aspects of psychosomatic ailments, the pathological damage to the internal organs is very real and is of primary concern of the TCM practitioner.

Excess emotional activity causes severe yin-yang energy imbalances, wild aberrations in the flow of blood, qi (vital energy) blockages in the meridians and impairment of vital organ functions. Once physical damage has begun, it is insufficient to eliminate the offending emotion to affect a cure; the prolonged emotional stress will require physical action as well. The emotions represent different human reactions to certain stimuli and do not cause disease under normal conditions.

 

The Pathogenic Features of the Seven Emotions:

  • Directly impairing organ qi (vital energy)

  • Affecting the functions of organ qi (vital energy)

  • Deteriorating effects of emotional instability

 

The seven emotions in TCM are:

  1. Joy 

  2. Anger  

  3. Anxiety  

  4. Pensiveness 

  5. Grief 

  6.  Fear  

  7. Fright

喜 Joy

In TCM joy refers to a state of agitation or overexcitement

"When one is excessively joyful, the spirit scatters and can no longer be stored," states the Lingshu (The Vital Axis). However, in TCM, joy refers to a states of agitation or overexcitement, rather than the more passive notion of deep contentment. The organ most affected is the heart. Over-stimulation can lead to problems of heart fire connected with such symptoms as feelings of agitation, insomnia and palpitations.

怒 Anger

Anger could lead to high blood pressure

Anger, as described by TCM, covers the full range of associated emotions including resentment, irritability, and frustration. An excess of rich blood makes one prone to anger. Anger will thus affect the liver, resulting in stagnation of liver qi (vital energy). This can lead to liver energy rising to the head, resulting in headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms. In the long run it can result in high blood pressure and can cause problems with the stomach and the spleen. It is commonly observed that ruddy, "full-blooded" people with flushed faces are more prone than others to sudden fits of rage at the slightest provocation.

憂 Anxiety

 Anxiety can block the qi and manifest in rapid, shallow breathing

When one feels anxiety, the qi (vital energy) is blocked and does not move." Anxiety injures the lungs, which control qi (vital energy) through breathing. Common symptoms of extreme anxiety are retention of breath, shallow, and irregular breathing. The shortage of breath experienced during periods of anxiety is common to everyone. Anxiety also injures the lungs' coupled organ, thelarge intestine. For example, over-anxious people are prone to ulcerative colitis.

思 Pensiveness

Too much intellectual stimulation can cause pensiveness

In TCM, pensiveness or concentration is considered to be the result of thinking too much or excessive mental and intellectual stimulation. Any activity that involves a lot of mental effort will run the risk of causing disharmony. The organ most directly at risk is the spleen. This can lead to a deficiency of spleen qi (vital energy), in turn causing worry and resulting in fatigue, lethargy, and inability to concentrate. 

悲 Grief

Grief that remains unresolved can create disharmony in the lungs

The lungs are more directly involved with this emotion. A normal and healthy expression of grief can be expressed as sobbing that originates in the depths of the lungs - deep breathes and the expulsion of air with the sob. However, grief that remains unresolved and becomes chronic can create disharmony in the lungs, weakening the lung qi (vital energy). This in turn can interfere with the lung's function of circulating qi (vital energy) around the body.

恐 Fear

Fear that cannot be directly addressed is likely to lead

to disharmony in the kidneys

Fear is a normal and adaptive human emotion. But when it becomes chronic and when the perceived cause of the fear cannot be directly addressed, then this is likely to lead to disharmony. The organs most at risk are the kidneys. In cases of extreme fright, the kidney's ability to hold qi (vital energy) may be impaired leading to involuntary urination. This can be a particular problem with children.

驚 Fright

Fright can affect the kidneys if left unchecked.

Fright is another emotion not specifically related to only one organ. It is distinguished from fear by its sudden, unexpected nature. Fright primarily affects the heart, especially in the initial stages, but if it persists for some time, it becomes conscious fear and moves to the kidneys.

The negative emotions in excess can damage their corresponding organs. Likewise, any organ suffering from an imbalance of chi can cause emotional problems.

 

Treating the internal organs' functions with acupuncture and herbs can help the emotions back to harmony and balance, along with the physical symptoms such as neck/should pain, insomnia, stomach, fatigue, low libido, hypoglycemia, brain fog, constipation, insomnia, heart palpitation, and more. .

Further more,  Dr. Yang uses an innovative application of traditional Chinese pulse diagnosis, along with her extensive experience and training, to identify and read clients’ specific emotions under stress. By reading a patient’s emotional pulse, Dr. Yang helps them in several ways:

  • To identify subconscious wants for those undergoing dilemmas, such as career, relationship, and business choices

  • To confirm sources of deep desires, fears, and anxiety

  • To pinpoint and address the true, underlying, root problem causing their stress, illness, and/or pain

 

As a result, Dr. Yang not only treats the patients' physical and emotional illness, but also help them to make healthy life decisions that positively affect their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

"It is important to identify the causes of the stress. Most people tell me that their stress is caused by their work or studies. But after I talk to them, I often find that the real sources are something that the person ignores or subconsciously doesn't want to face. They blame their work or studies, but those are just superficial reasons and not the real ones.  Once the real sources are identified, I know how to treat them and can get good results."

-- Joy Yang

"When I talk with my patients in the clinic with a quiet environment, I can usually feel their energy (Qi), and the emotions deep down in their mind.  I often surprise my patients by telling the true emotions they are hiding.

 

"To temporarily release the pain is not difficult, it's just technical.  What I want is my patients to get better not only physically but also emotionally - a better person!"

-- Joy Yang

 

"A person dealing with stress have to hold themselves up; they usually do not feel their body or listen to their body. They ignore their body's signals until something happens, like physical pains, stomach aches, and fatigue caused by long-term tension."

-- Joy Yang

 "Often times, when patients come to see me, they feel relaxed and tell me things they don’t talk to anyone else about because they feel like they can trust me. Many times they will feel safe enough to genuinely cry, letting out their stress. Some of them have seen psychiatrists before, but did not feel comfortable enough to open up, and left with their feelings still hidden. I do not know what it is about me that let my patients trust me, but when my patients can let their stress out and cry, I feel relaxed too."

---Joy Yang

Case 1: 

     A working mother with a baby came to see me for several problems, including insomnia, fatigue, depression and stress. The first time she came to see me, she started to cry after talking for several minutes. She said that before she came to my clinic, she wanted to cry, but was not able to. She could not talk about her feelings to her mother, friends, or even her husband, because her husband himself was causing her stress. So I told her she can cry at my clinic in the future too. I gave her an acupuncture treatment afterwards.

One week later, she came for her second appointment, and she told me that she slept very well the past week. She said she felt like she had only slept for thirty minutes, but the whole night had passed. She and her husband had been fighting a lot over the past two months, but in the last week she could control her temper and felt much calmer. Even her husband asked her why she didn’t argue with him anymore. Now her husband is coming for treatment from me too. She has also improved over 80% in her other symptoms.

Case 2:

      A 39 year old patient of mine came to me because she had stopped taking western medicine for depression, anxiety, insomnia and more to prepare for pregnancy. She wanted to use acupuncture to help her with these problems, as well as becoming pregnant.

     To me, she seemed like a very cheerful person. She was always happy when she came and laughed a lot during the treatment. When she said she doesn’t sleep well or had stress, it was because of her work, traveling and the consequent variations in her sleep and eating patterns.

     After several treatments, I still did not see any big improvements or turnaround. So I asked her, “What are the real source that caused these problems? I need to know the real source.”  She then explained that she was having a difficult relationship with her partner, and was struggling with whether or not she really wanted to become pregnant. Then she started to cry. To my surprise, after she started crying she could not stop.  I knew that the real healing process was beginning. While I treated her, she continued to cry.

     I knew I needed to change my treatment strategy. After she stopped crying and walked out of the treatment room, I saw that her face was shining.

 

Case 3

    A 49 year old female patient came to the clinic, suffering from stress, depression, Lymes disease, digestion problems, and a myriad of other problems. In the first few weeks, every time this patient came she would cry. She did not have any specific reason for crying; she has a very caring husband. But I knew crying could help her recovery. During these several weeks, her crying lessened and eventually stopped.

     Now when she comes, she does not cry, and I feel that she has become emotionally lighter. She started to laugh and smile instead of cry. All her other symptoms have continued to improve in the progress of recovery.

 

Additional explanation:

 

Emotions in TCM have slightly different meanings than their Western interpretations. In TCM joy, for example, refers to a state of agitation or over-excitement, rather than elation. Related to the heart, this emotion is correlated with heart palpitations, repeated agitation, and insomnia. Anger in TCM is considered to represent resentment, frustration, and irritability. An excess of rich blood is believed to make one prone to anger, and can affect the liver, causing this organ's energy to rise to the head and result in headaches or dizziness. Pensiveness is thought to be an excess of mental stimulation that can affect the spleen (which rules over vital energy). This can result in fatigue, lethargy, and difficulty concentrating. Lungs are associated with the feeling of grief. Unresolved grief can lead to problems with general energy and one's qi (life force) because the lungs are thought to distribute this throughout the body. Like the other emotions, fear is considered a normal and at times, inevitabe e emotion. However, if it becomes chronic, or settles as a deep anxiety, the kidneys can be affected. The kidney's ability to hold qi may be impaired, and involuntary urination can also occur.

 

Traditional Chinese medicine is unique in its belief that cause and effect are not linear, but circular. This means that the cause of an ailment may be an emotion, but also that an ailment can lead to an emotion. By striving to balance the organ related to the person's emotional state, the emotion can be balanced as well, and visa versa. Acupuncture is one way to accomplish this re-alignment. Acupuncture is the practice of gently inserting needles into specific points on the body to benefit a person's qi, or life force. There are certain points used in acupuncture that accord with specific organs, and treating these points is how feelings and acupuncture can interplay.

 

http://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2014/09/05/emotions-and-traditional-chinese-medicine

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Located at Colony Park

2001 South Main Stree, Suite #206 

Blacksburg,  Virginia 24060​   

Tel: 540-505-9263     
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