Chinese Medicine Concepts

Emotions and Their Effect on Qi
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Emotions and Their Effect on Qi

Emotions and Their Effect on Qi. Each of the emotions has a particular effect on Qi and affects that certain organ. Anger makes Qi rise, Joy slows Qi down; Sadness dissolves Qi; Worry knots Qi; Pensiveness knots Qi; Fear makes Qi descend’ Shock scatters Qi.

Dr. Chen Yan in “A Treatise on the Three Categories of Causes of Diseases” says: “You scatters, anger arouses, worry makes Qi unsmooth, pensiveness knots, sadness makes Qi tight, fear sinks, shock moves.”

VIDEO INDEX

Theory of Qi | 0:00
Emotions and Their Effect on Qi | 4:15

 

Detailed Dive

The effect of each emotion on a relevant organ should not be interpreted too restrictively. There are passages from the Yellow Emperor’s Classic which attribute the effect of emotions to organs other than the ones just mentioned. For example, the “Spiritual Axis” in chapter 28 says: “Worry and pensiveness agitate the Heart.” The Simple Question in chapter 39 says: “Sadness agitates the Heart.”

The effect of an emotion also depends on other circumstances and on whether the emotion is manifested or repressed. For example, anger which is expressed affects the Liver (causing Livery-Yang rising), but anger which is repressed also affect the Heart. If one gets angry at meals times (as sadly often happens in certain families), the anger will affect the Stomach, and this will be manifested with a Wiry quality on the right Middle position of the pulse. The effect of an emotion will also depend on the constitutional trait of a person. For example, if a person has a tendency to a constitutional weakness of the Heart (manifested with a midline crack on the tongue extending all the way down to the tip) fear will affect the Heart rather than the Kidneys.

All emotions affect the Heart

All emotions, besides affecting the relevant organ directly, affect the Heart indirectly because the Heart houses the Mind. It alone, being responsible for consciousness and cognition, can recognize and feel the effect of emotional tension. Fei Bo Xiong (1800-1879) put it very clearly when he said, “The seven emotions injure the 5 Yin organs selectively, but they all affect the Heart. Joy injures the Heart…Anger injures the Liver, the Liver cannot recognize anger, but the Heart can, hence it affects both Lungs and Heart. Pensiveness injures the Spleen, the Spleen cannot recognize it, but the Heart can, hence it affects both Spleen and Heart.

Yu Change in “Principles of Medical Practice” (1658) says “Worry agitates the Heart and has repercussions on the Lungs: pensiveness agitates the Heart and has repercussions on the Spleen: anger agitates the Heart and has repercussions on the Liver: fear agitates the Heart and has repercussions on the Kidneys. Therefore, all the five emotions (including joy) affect the Heart.”

Chapter 28 of the “Spiritual Axis” also says that all emotions affect the Heart: “The Heart is the Master of the 5 Yin and 6 Yang organs…sadness, shock, and worry agitate the Heart, when the Heart is agitated the 5 Yin and 6 Yang Organs are shaken.” Chinese writing clearly bears out the idea that all emotions affect the Heart since the characters for six of the seven emotions are based on the “heart” radical. This is probably the most important aspect of the Heart functions and the main reason for it being compared to the “monarch.”

The way that all emotions afflict the Heart also explains why a red tip of the tongue, indicating Heart-Fire, is so commonly seen, even in emotional problems related to other organs.

Effects on Wei (Defensive) Qi

Both internal and external pathogenic factors affect the structural formation of the Wei Qi. The internal factors include suppressed emotional influences (such as anger and grief from emotional traumas); The external factors include environmental influences when they are too severe or chronic, such as Cold, Damp, Heat, or Wind, etc. Physical traumas also affect the Wei Qi field.

Strong emotions, in the form of toxic energy, become trapped within the body’s tissues when we hold back or do not integrate our feelings. These unprocessed emotions block the natural flow of Qi, thus creating stagnant pools of toxic energy within the body.

Medical Qigong therapy offers a safe and effective way to rid yourself of toxic pathogens and years of painful emotions that otherwise, can cause mental and physical illness. This therapy combines breathing techniques with movement, creative visualization, and spiritual intent to improve health, personal power, and control over one’s own life.

The objective for healing disease in Medical Qigong training is threefold:

First, eliminate Internal pathogenic factors (the accumulation of Excessive emotions such as anger, grief, worry, fear, etc.) as well as External pathogenic factors (the invasion of Cold, Hot, Damp, etc., from the environment).

Second, increase or decrease your Qi as needed to counteract the Deficient or Excess condition within the internal organs and channels.

Third, regulate and balance your Yin and Yang energy to bring it back into harmony.

Citations:
Maciocia, G., (2015). The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, 3rd Ed.
Johnson, J.A. (2012). Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy.

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