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How organs relate to emotions

Acu Blog

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that certain organs are interconnected to emotional activity. Emotions are viewed as the major interior cause of disease. Emotions are an internal, psychological response to stimuli in the external environment. Emotions themselves, if expressed and released in a healthy manner may have no lasting effect on the body. It is when emotions are held onto for an extended period of time that impairment to organs can happen. This can generate severe energetic imbalances, improper flow of blood, blockages of qi in the meridians (energy pathways), and in extreme cases, affect the functions of internal organs.

Listed below are the organs and their respective emotion.

          Organ                                                                 Emotion    

Heart  Over Joy/ Anxiety
Lungs  Grief/Loss
Spleen  Worry/Overthinking
Liver  Anger/Drive
Kidneys  Fear/Willpower

When we experience something traumatic, (ie. a breakup, loss of a loved one, getting fired from a job, the Starbucks barista got your name wrong… again. – Hey, we all have our limits!) we all inevitably regress into our most predominant organ’s emotional state.

If your automatic response is to scream & shout because you caught a red light or to flip the bird because someone driving cut you off, the emotion anger seems to be the initial and overriding response. This unwarranted response to a small situation would cause us to look immediately at the Liver.

If you are one of those people that because you woke up late, start running down the domino list of devastating events in your future- you are going to be late for work, which will result in you getting fired, losing your apartment, and having work for change by singing on the streets just to be able to afford something off the McDonalds dollar menu. This fear based response points directly to the Kidneys.

The trick is to look at the constant behavioral patterns, identify the predominant organ/ emotional state and treat accordingly to bring the patient back into balance. Obviously, not all situations are as extreme, but there will be emotions that are more present and rooted in how a person continually responds to the situation at hand. Being able to identify the emotion will allow for a more accurate treatment and prevent any long term issues in that connected organ down the road.