Causes of Illness - 7 Emotions

Causes of Illness - 7 Emotions

The Seven Emotions in Chinese Medicine

Emotional related diseases factors, which effect the organ associated with the emotion as well as organs that have a Five Element relationship with that elements emotion.

The Seven Emotions are:

Joy (Over-excitement, Manic) - Heart and Fire Element

Slows the Qi - Fear controls Joy (Water controls Fire)

  • Palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Unclear Thinking
  • Mania, Disturbed Shen (possibly manic, risk-taking)
  • Heart Attack

Example: Migraine headache caused by sudden joy from receiving good news.

Anger (Rage, Resentment, Frustration) - Liver and Wood Element

Makes Qi Ascend - Grief controls Anger (Metal controls Wood)

  • Vertex Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry Vision
  • Blood Pressure is Raised
  • Stroke
  • Internal Wind (trembling from anger or an onset of Wind symptoms such as a seizure)
  • Pain in the Costal Region Especially in the Liver

Liver attacks Spleen and Stomach

  • Spleen Qi Xu
  • Rebellious Stomach Qi
  • Bleeding

a. Nosebleeds common because Qi is ascending
b. Vessels Burst Because Spleen is Weak

Liver counterattacks Lung

  • Asthma

Liver can harm Gall Bladder (Yin Yang paired Organ)

  • Inability to make decisions (I'm so angry, I can't think straight)

Grief or Sadness - Lung and Metal Element

Weakens, Depletes, or Dissolves the Qi - Joy Controls Grief (Fire controls Metal)

  • Tightness in the Chest (SOB)
  • Excessive Crying
  • Asthma
  • Frequent Colds and Flu (Wei Qi is weakened)
  • Skin problems

Grief Affecting the Heart

  • Zong Qi is weakened affecting Heart

Metal counterattacking Fire

  • Circulation Becomes Impaired

Worry and Pensiveness - Spleen and Earth Element

Stagnates or Knots the Qi - Wood controls Earth (Anger controls Worry and Pensiveness)

Harms the Heart

Son depleting the Mother, and ultimately the Shen

  • Palpitations
  • Spleen Qi Deficiency
  • Heart Blood Deficiency

Fear - Kidneys and Water Element

Makes Qi Descend - Concentration and thinking controls Fear (Earth Controls Water)

Note: Less sudden, more chronic and internal than fright

Kidneys are weakened when living in fear

  • might lose bladder control

Harms Liver and Gallbladder

Water not nourishing Wood)

  • Depression
  • Indecisive
  • Confused
  • Lack Courage

Harms the Heart

Water not controlling Fire

Heart Fire blazes out of control

  • anxiety, restlessness

Fright (Terror, Shock) - Gallbladder and Wood Element

Fright Confuses or Scatters the Qi - Grief controls Fright (Metal controls Wood)

Note: There is a difference between fear and fright: Fright: startling, scared by things that are present. Fear: deeper, more chronic; scared by things not present

  • Indecisive
  • Confused
  • Lack Courage

Harms the Kidneys

Son depleting mother; Wood depleting Water

  • Long-term fright turns to fear (child abused once causes fright; ongoing abuse leads to fear of when it will happen again)

Harms Liver

Gallbladder and Liver are Yin Yang paired organs

  • become angry at what frightened us (a mother becomes angry with a child that loves to startle her as a joke)

Harms the Heart

Wood fails to nourish Fire, Fright unroots the Shen

References Used

The TCM information presented here has been referenced from numerous sources; including teachers, practitioners, class notes from Five Branches University, the following books, as well as other sources. If you have benefited from this information, please consider supporting the authors and their works by purchasing the books below.

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