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Are your Emotions Making you Sick?

All humans have emotions. It’s normal to feel happiness, unhappiness and anger. We are usually able to recognize these feelings and keep them in their proper place. We react appropriately to situations, events and other people. Our emotions are a form of communication to others and an internal barometer of our feelings and reactions.

repressed emotions can cause physical disease


However, if our emotions start to take over – it can start to cause physical problems.

Are Repressed Emotions Damaging Your Health?

Sometimes it’s hard to conquer excessive emotion. You may be in an environment where expressing your emotions is frowned upon and so those emotions become repressed. This is when you start to feel like a pressure cooker which is about to explode. If your feelings are not expressed, they may turn to feelings of hopelessness and mute acceptance. They turn inward and start to become a chronic form of suffering.

Repressing your emotions can lead to health issues later onThis is the point where emotions may cause physical harm. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners recognize the issues that emotions may cause and this is one of the things they are evaluting when they make a diagnosis. That is why you may be asked questions that don’t seem especially relevant to your condition. To the trained Traditional Chinese Medicine professional , the questions are not only relevant but essential in helping them to find the root cause of your issue. Once that root cause has been identified, the appropriate treatment may be implemented. 

The Gift Chinese Medicine has to Offer You

Over thousands of years Chinese Medicine has developed special herbal formulas and techniques to release the physical energy tied up in repressed emotions.  A professional Radiant Wonder Chinese herbalist can determine the best program for your unique stress response.  



Emotions Matter

A common complaint about Western Medicine is that Doctors are quick to diagnose stress as a root cause of many physical symptoms. That in itself is not a problem. The problem arises when the solutions offered simply supress the symptoms.  People are repeatedly offered anti-depressant medication or some form of tranquilizer or sleeping pill. 

This is treating the symptoms but not the root cause of the issue.  If you stop the medication the symptoms will return, often worse than before.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has known for thousands of years that emotional health is vital for physical health. That is why emotions play such a big part in diagnosis and treatment.

However, Traditional Chinese Medicine does not only treat the symptoms. It also treats the organ system, the root cause, that is causing the symptoms. 

in chinese medicine every emotion is associated with an organ system

Correcting an Imbalance

Let’s look at an example of how this works.

Jane contacts a Radiant Wonder professional herbalist for help. She has not felt well for weeks. Emotionally, she is feeling frustrated and is having uncharacteristic outbursts of anger. Her eyes are sore and inflamed, she is having migraines and suffering with constipation. She is also having trouble sleeping.

The herbalist asks Jane many questions and from her responses, recognizes that Jane has a common imbalance of her Liver and Liver emotions.  There is an energy block causing all her symptoms.  Jane is offered a treatment for the blocked energy in the Liver channel (Liver Qi Stagnation). Jane’s Liver comes back into balance.   She starts to feel lighter and happier again. Her constipation resolves, her migraines stop and she starts to sleep properly again.

Your Body Speaks to You in a Language where Emotions are Important Signals.

In Chinese Medicine every emotion is a reflection of the health of an organ system.  

Your body uses different emotions to communicate with you, to tell you what is going on. It is a language your Radiant Wonder professional herbalist can interpret for you and, as you continue working with your herbalist, you can learn to interpret for yourself.  

Recognizing how you feel gives you the starting point.  

Then you will learn how to match how you feel to the organ system that matches your emotions.  

Then your herbalist develops a Healthy Living Program of exactly the right herbal formulas, healing foods, and special exercises to help you release the blockage in that channel.  

Each person has certain patterns that can repeat.  Repetition can build repressed emotions.  If you understand your unique stress response and how to help it as it first happens you will dissolve the emotional response before it becomes bigger, and repressed. 

You will be treating both the symptoms and the root cause, so you will have less and less heavy stress response and it will happen less frequently.

Cause and Effect

In the West, we have been conditioned to recognize that a particular cause will lead to a particular effect. This is called linear thinking.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views cause and effect as being circular – not linear.

For example, if someone who has the common cold sneezes near to you, you may catch their cold. The cold gives you symptoms such as a headache, stuffed up nose, sore throat and raised temperature.

We would view the cold as the cause and symptoms as the effect of that cause. 

In linear thinking the cold virus is the cause and the cold symptoms are the effect

Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Also View Cause and Effect as Circular

In the example above, Traditional Chinese Medicine would also view the cold symptoms as the effect of the cold virus. However, when dealing with emotions that affect organs, the thinking is not in such a straight line. Here’s an example of how the thinking is circular.

Repressed Emotions

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, chronically repressed emotions are the beginning of serious physical problems.

free flowing water in a beautful riverTraditional Chinese Medicine sees good health as the result of organs being balanced and energies being able to flow freely.

If a person has repressed emotions, that can cause a blockage. This block prevents the energy from flowing freely and if not dealt with, can lead to energy stagnation, inflammation  and subsequent disease. 

Imagine a river that is flowing beautifully. It is full of healthy fish and the plants in the water are thriving. The water is clean and smells sweet.

Now imagine a river that has become blocked – maybe due to the collapse of a bank or a beaver dam. There are no fish and the plants have died and become rotten. The water looks dirty and smells nasty.

That is the difference between a healthy flow of energy and energy stagnation.

Different Manifestations – Different Solutions

In Western Medicine, there is a ‘one size fits all’ mentality. If you are suffering from something that fits a statistical pattern, then you will be treated by the methods associated with that pattern.

But you are not a statistic. You are a person. Traditional Chinese Medicine knows that every person is unique. It follows that disease will manifest differently in every person. 

This manifestation is due to multiple factors and through careful and sometimes lengthy questioning, your Radiant Wonder professional herbalist will establish what has brought you to this point and how it may be resolved.

Releasing Emotions + Intense Nutrition = Healthy Organs

Repressed emotions can lead to health problems so to improve health, it is necessary to release those emotions. This will clear the blocked energy and allow it to flow freely again.  


Western solutions are counseling, or to prescribe drugs which supress the emotional response.   

Chinese Medicine focuses on the physical energy blockage that has developed from the stress endured.  Release this blockage and not only does energy flow freely again, but repressed emotions, bound by the blocked energy, are gently released.

The combination of vital nutrition and a flood of free flowing energy will bring that system back into balance and allow it to operate efficiently again – restoring the body into proper balance and optimum health.

Aim for Emotional Health

It’s now becoming more widely recognized that pent-up emotion is unhealthy. If you are not able to release or express your feelings, it can actually make you ill.

How do you know if you are suffering ill health due to an emotional imbalance?

Let’s look at the organs and the emotions that are associated with them. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of organ imbalance, you might like to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.


Just remember that in each case, we are talking about the associated emotion, normal function, emotional imbalance and symptoms of that imbalance as seen by Traditional Chinese Medicine.


HEART: Associated Emotion - Happiness

Normal Function 

In TCM the associated emotion of the Heart is happiness


To regulate the health and performance of the heart and blood vessels, 
To ensure a healthy, strong and regular heartbeat and pulse,
To strengthen and maintain the health of your vitality and spirit.



Emotions You Feel when your Heart is in Balance
    Calm Energy
    Peace of Mind    
    Clear Thinking

Emotions You Feel if your Heart is Out of Balance
    Easily over stimulated
    Overenthusiastic (can be manic)
    Thoughts flitting from one thing to another
    Inability to concentrate

Physical Symptoms of Heart Imbalance 
    Insomnia – trouble falling asleep
    Dreaming more than usual
    Heart palpitations
    As if your heart is skipping a beat
    Inability to concentrate
    Poor short term memory
    Feeling dizzy
    Suddenly sweating for no apparent reason


DIGESTIVE SYSTEM *: Associated Emotion - Worry  
* Traditionally called “Spleen”

Normal Function 

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Creates Energy – the Body’s Energy Generator
Your Energy Checking Account – You fill it every day.
Initiates the building of blood and energy (ATP)
the brain to understand and retain information

The Digestive System digests the food; the Brain digests information 


Emotions you may Feel when the Digestive System is in Balance:
    Sense of feeling ‘’centered’’
    Sharp thinking, focus
    Excellent long term memory
    Strong muscle tone
    Good appetite
    Feel light physically and mentally, no matter your weight

Emotions you may Feel when the Digestive System is out of Balance
    Worry - Obsessing about a topic, situation or event
    Constant thought - Feeling you can’t switch your brain off 
    Foggy thinking

Physical Symptoms of Digestive System Imbalance
    Physical and/or mental heaviness – stiffness
    Underweight or Overweight (same energy imbalance)
    Feeling tired all the time
    Low energy in the morning especially
    Lack of muscle strength
    Loss of appetite
    Gas, bloating, other digestive issues
    Feeling and/or looking bloated
    Soft stools, even diarrhea
    Bruising more easily than usual
    Heavy menstrual flow

LUNG: Associated Emotion – Sadness

Normal Function 

In TCM the associated emotion of the Lung is sadness


Circulates Energy – The Body’s Energy Pump

Inhaling brings in energy – Exhaling pumps it through the body
Protects the body from external attacks of bacterial and viral infections



Emotions You may Feel with the Lung is in Balance

     The ability to “let go”

Emotions you may Feel when the Lung is Out of Balance
    Grief, holding onto everything
    Compulsive Obsessive

Physical Symptoms of Lung Imbalance
    Feeling short of breath, better with continued exertion 
    Feeling tired
    A persistent cough
    Prone to catching a cold
    A fever but with chills
    A sore throat
    Tight chest
    Asthma attacks
    Looking pale
    Skin becoming dry

JING*: Associated Emotion – Fear
*Traditionally called “Kidneys”

In Traditional Chinese Medicine this is the Jing which is the powerhouse and energy foundation for the whole body

Normal Function 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine this is the Jing which is the powerhouse and energy foundation for the whole bodyYour deep energy reserves (stores energy/savings account)
The energy you run on when you “run out of energy”
The most powerful energy hub in the body
Generates sexual vitality, longevity and quality of lif
Short term memory
Reproductive Function – strong egg and sperm        
Skeletal System – Adrenal System – Endocrine System
Bladder and Renal function – Skeletal System  

Emotions You may Feel When Your Jing is In Balance
    Feeling Grounded and Calm in the storm
    Sense of purpose
    Feeling of power

Emotions You may Feel When Your Jing is Out of Balance
    Frightened and fearful for no apparent reason
    Lacking in willpower
    Feelings of insecurity
    Feeling aloof or detached
    Feelings of isolation

Physical Symptoms of Kidney Imbalance
    Urinating frequently
    Being incontinent of urine
    Feeling dizzy
    Sweating at night
    Having a dry mouth
    Problems with short term memory
    Pain in your lower back
    Feeling as if your knees are sore or weak
    Tinnitus (a ringing sound in your ears)
    Loss of hearing
    Hair turning grey
    Losing hair
    Losing interest in sex

LIVER: Associated Emotion – Anger

Normal Function 

In TCM the associated emotion of the Liver is anger


Regulates energy flow
Maintains free and easy flow of energy, blood, hormones, emotions
Processes stress
Releases stagnation and blockages
Regulates the reproductive cycle and hormonal balance


Emotions You may Feel if the Liver is in Balance
    Sense of Well Being
    Ease in Action

Emotions You may Feel if the Liver is out of Balance
    Feeling Stuck
    Driven (cannot stop for a break, have to keep pushing forward)

Physical Symptoms of Liver Imbalance Random sighing
   Blurry vision or floaters
   Mood Swings
   PMS – moodiness, tender breasts
   Menstrual irregularities
   Tendons and ligament issues
   Genital issues

Organ Systems are Energy Hubs  

diagram showing the 5 elements in TCMWestern medicine focuses on the physical but Chinese medicine focuses on energy and energy flow.

Organs are not just physical body parts but vitally important energy hubs, so we call the organ systems.

Organ systems are connected to each other by energy pathways (meridians). The meridians also allow the body to connect from inside to outside and from top to bottom.

This interconnection is the basis for the holistic view taken by Chinese Medicine.



Find out more about the Five Organ Systems and how they affect your health.   Be on the look out for a soon to be released new blog post.





Have you experienced health issues due to repressed emotions or other emotional issues? 

We’d love you to tell us about it in the comments box below – and it may help other readers.



Monday, May 2, 2016 | Post by Amanda Howell, BA, MTOM | 0 comment(s)
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