In traditional Chinese medicine, the body cannot be detached from a person’s emotional aspect. The body and the emotions always go together and extreme emotions often are the cause of the body’s sickness and bad health. More often than not extreme emotional states, especially the low and stressful states, over long periods, can lead to physiological problems like heart disease, impotency and poor immunity to diseases. Extreme negative emotions disrupt the normal flow of chi in the body.
Chi is the Chinese word for life force that flows in the body and its proper circulation makes the body healthy, physically and emotionally. Negative emotions affect chi flow, which in turn, affects the body’s major organs, most especially the heart. When the heart is affected, these negative emotions will disrupt the harmony of the soul and the spiritual dimension of the person, which can lead to horrible psychological imbalances.
Anger antagonizes chi and can cause headaches, dizziness or redness in the face. If anger is repressed, the repression builds blockages inside the system where chi flows. The chi stagnates due to these blockages causing depression and sadness. The physical manifestation, apart from the emotional manifestation mentioned is muscular tension, weakness and rigidity felt usually in the neck and shoulders. Apart from muscle rigidity, a person’s viewpoint of life also becomes rigid and negative.
Joy is an extreme emotional state albeit a positive one. Although this can lead to states of elation and thrill seeking, which for some people is a good thing; it can also cause negative outcomes like restlessness, insomnia and even heart attack.
Sadness is an emotion that directly affects the lungs. The lungs produce chi from the air. Sadness uses up the energy of the lungs normally used for producing chi. This chi depletion manifests itself through breathlessness, weakness, chest pains or discomforts and weeping. Constant sadness eventually will lead to the cessation of chi flow causing depression and malaise.
Worrying also causes chi stagnation and manifests itself as constantly being tense, obsessive and frantic. With this emotion, the digestive organs are directly affected and physiologically can manifest as abdominal distention where the chi gets literally obstructed in the abdomen. The lungs, are affected by the energy imbalance of the digestive system and manifests as shallow breathing and frequent sighing which are signs of our bodies reflexively trying to remove and open up the blockage of chi.
Fear is a very strong negative emotion that makes chi descend down our bodies. The result of fear is constant bowel movement and bladder incontinence. Sometimes the fear is so overwhelming that it causes instant urination or defecation, Children are prone to this emotion especially at nighttime and can manifest this through bedwetting.