It’s been so nice seeing friends and family again. I think we’ve really realized how important human connection and relationships are over the past few years. We can finally enjoy our lives a little bit more without the clouds of the pandemic and natural disasters looming over us too heavily.
Chinese Medicine views the earth and its seasons, the mind, body, and emotions as interconnected. Since we are not separate from nature, each season in Chinese Medicine is associated with a particular experienced emotion. Think of the emotion the summertime provokes for you - the feeling of the warm sun on your skin, diving into a lake on a hot day, laughing with your friends over some ice cold drinks. The summertime is classified as being associated with the emotion of joy.
Chinese Medicine classifies and describes 7 different emotions that a human being can experience and how those emotions can affect our body’s physiology. If there is too much of, or not enough of a particular emotion, then imbalance and disease may arise.
It is so often that patients come in connecting the dots on their own between the mind, body, and emotions. We will often hear you say “I was really stressed this week, I’ve had a headache for 3 days,” or “my digestion was really off while I was travelling home to visit family.”
In our western culture, the mind, body, spirit, emotions are viewed as separate entities. In Chinese Medicine, they are not viewed or even really talked about as separate.
So what are the 7 emotions and how do they alter our physiology (aka qi)?
Sadness and Grief
Sadness and grief can affect the diffusion of qi through the body – this will often manifest as oppression of the chest, frequent colds, breathing problems, lethargy, low energy, asthma, depression, and may eventually affect digestion.
Anger can affect the smooth flow of qi through the body – this will often manifest as menstrual irregularities, IBS, headaches or migraines, dizziness, tinnitus, a bitter taste in the mouth, a feeling of a lump in the throat, tense musculature, and a feeling of being “wound up”.
Overthinking or Worry
Overthinking or worry can knot your qi and affect the digestive system –thinking in circles depletes a lot of energy! This can ultimately lead to loose stools, digestive disruptions or pain, low energy, brain fog, and exercise intolerance.
Fear can descend qi – this will often manifest as nervous bladder syndrome, lower back pain, incontinence, lowered energy levels, and frequent bedwetting in children.
Shock or fright can scatter qi – this will manifest as panic attacks, disturbed sleep, and mental restlessness.
Excessive joy can slow qi – this is best explained as over-indulging in the things that make us happy without balance. This can cause a person to have lack of focus and even become manic. It may lead to addictions with drugs, alcohol, gambling, or food.
Moral of the story is, as always with Chinese Medicine; Balance. The emotions are apart of us and interconnect us all. Too much or too little of any emotion can cause disruptions in your body’s physiology.
Kristina, Samantha, Yanna, and Michelle