Emotions and illness

Emotions are considered a form of energy that play an integral role in the development of health or illness.

TCM has traditionally viewed the emotions are one of the primary cause of disease. this is in direct contrast to the reductionist viewpoint of western medicine, which has fragmented the human being and separated the psyche from the physical body

Western Medicine has traditionally viewed the emotions as the secondary factors to the cause of disease.

A person suffering from ulcers sees a gastroenterologist and receives medication for his pain, but the stress that may be the cause of his problem is not addressed.
Emotions and Illness
In contrast, Oriental medicine recognizes the innate connection between the mind, body and the emotions.

Emotions are not only a source of disease but can also be a result of illness

Traditional Chinese medicine acknowledges seven emotions. Each of the major organs is affected by and connected with a particular emotion that affects the life energy in a particular way.

The seven emotions are:

Anger - which affects the Liver
Melancholy - which affects the Lungs
Joy or Overexcitement - which affects the Kidneys
Worry and Excessive Thinking - which affects the Spleen and the Lungs
Shock - which affects the Kidneys and the Heart

It is important to note that, under normal conditions, emotions are not a cause of disease. Since energy is inherently neutral, the emotional energies that can be misdirected toward illness can also be harnesses for positive growth and development.

Each emotion has the positive side, an aspect that can be utilized for making a productive and wholesome emotional life, For example the Yang (positive) energy of the Liver, with its tendency to rise, is a very powerful energy that, when brought under control and directed, can be used for making positive decisions and changes in one's life. The liver partner is a Gall Bladder, which gives courage to the decision-making process and works in concert with the Heart and Small Intestine. This courage comes from the positive directing of the Liver's energies, which are supposed to be free flowing and smooth.

The same energy that produces Worry and Excessive Thinking, which affect the Spleen, can be transformed into a powerful capacity for memory and the ability to concentrate and contemplate.

The positive complement of Fear is willpower and the ability not only to have a strong memory but to be resolute and determined, focused and energetic in the accomplishing of one's goals.

The energies of the lungs can be used for strengthening breathing, which in turn helps to calm the mind.

The relationship between breathing exercises and meditation was recognized long ago by the Taoist monks of China as well as by Buddhists and practitioners of other esoteric philosophies.

By focusing on breathing the mind is quieted, allowing the individual to reach higher levels of consciousness within himself.

The best way of relating to one's emotions is not through disregarding them or repressing them but by acknowledging and facing them, and redirecting those energies for internal growth and development.

Energy balancing therapies such as acupuncture can result in dramatic changes in emotional states, but serious emotional work is also necessary for real, permanent change.

Many extreme disease conditions including cancer have been linked to general emotional states.