Emotions are how the body responds to feelings. The International Shen Therapy Association describes emotion as a metaphysical experience paralleled by biological responses and psychological processes. Traditional Chinese medicine views seven emotions including joy, anger, anxiety, grief, pensiveness, fear and fright that each affects the health of an organ according to Shen-Nong. Greek medicine, the root of traditional western medicine, also views that emotions affect the health of the organs according to David Osborn.
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Emotions and Organ Pairs
Traditional Chinese medicine, which has been practiced for more than five thousand years, has a central principle that classifies five major organ systems that are each associated with particular emotions, according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation. The five major organ systems involve pairs of organs and an associated emotion. The liver and gallbladder are associated with anger, the heart and small intestine are associated with joy, the spleen and stomach are associated with over-thinking or pensiveness, the lungs and large intestine are associated with grief, and the kidney and bladder are associated with fear. Chinese psychology, which is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, focuses on the relationship between emotions and organs and their effect on health.
Joy is an emotion of deep contentment and is connected to the heart, according to traditional Chinese medicine. When a person becomes overexcited with joy, she can experience agitation, insomnia, fever and heart palpitations.
Anger is an emotion that is associated with resentment, frustration, irritability and rage. Chinese medicine asserts that this choleric emotion is stored in the liver and gallbladder, which produce and store bile, respectively. This anger can affect many biological processes that sap energy and cause headaches, dizziness and high blood pressure.
Anxiety is an emotion of excessive worry that can affect the lungs and large intestine, according to TCMWorld.org. Anxiety can cause a person to be unable to use energy and suffer from shortness of breath and ulcerative colitis, an inflammation of the large intestine.
Grief is an emotion that can cause a person to cry, create disharmony in the lungs and block energy from circulating throughout the body. Grief can sap the will to live, injure the lungs and cause respiratory diseases.
Pensiveness is an emotion of excessive thinking and melancholy. Pensiveness affects the spleen and can cause fatigue, lethargy and inability to concentrate. According to GreekMedicine.net, it can also constrict the digestive system and affect the stomach with gas, distension and bloating.
Fear is an emotion that can cause disharmony in the kidneys and cause involuntary urination. Extreme fear can cause a person to spontaneously lose control of his kidneys and bladder, according to GreekMedicine.net.
Fright is an emotion of shock and panic due to something sudden and unexpected. Fright affects the heart in the short run and when it becomes chronic can affect the kidneys, says Shen-Nong.com.
- The International SHEN Therapy Association The Mystery of Emotion
- Shen-Nong Limited Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings: What Are the Seven Emotions?
- David K. Osborn Emotions and Organs
- Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation: What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
- Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation: Classification of Theory of the Five Elements