The Emotions-Pain Connection: How Your Mood Affects Your Health
By Dr. Mark Wiley, OMD, PhD
Emotions play such a vital role in both wellness and illness, that to ignore them in any outlook on health is a mistake. While emotions are natural and important parts of life, when taken to excess they can be damaging to the body.
When emotions are extremely abrupt, intense or persistent, they may over time produce functional disorders of the organs by upsetting the harmonious balance of blood and energy. We are talking here of excessive feelings of Joy, Anger, Melancholy, Anxiety, Grief, Fear, and Fright. Let’s take a look at each for examples.
Anger causes an adverse flow of liver energy. Under normal conditions, the liver purifies blood and sends it downward. However, during moments of prolonged anger, the liver sends blood upward, and this can cause a flushed face, red eyes, headache or fainting. This is why angry people tend to have red faces and also complain of headache pain.
Joy causes the scattering of heart energy. Normal joy is great for the body and can lift the spirits. However, too much joy over prolonged periods can cause rapid heartbeat or irregular heartbeat, giddiness or even fainting. As a result, distraction may occur, or other mental disorders in more severe cases, not to mention the possibility of chest pain.
Grief can lead to the melancholy, which causes energy to stagnate. The result is the hypo-function (weakening) of the lungs, manifesting as low spirits, difficulty breathing and lassitude. When people grieve they cry and have difficulty breathing. Lack of steady respiration can lead to low oxygen levels in the blood, headache, tendon pain, fibromyalgia.
Fear harms the kidneys, causing the normal upward flow of kidney energy (water passage) to reverse its direction and to flow downward. The resulting symptoms include incontinence in urination and bowel movement, soreness in the lumbar region of the back, feebleness of the lower limbs and nocturnal emission.
Fright causes a general dysfunction of overall energy. Clinical manifestations include a tendency to be easily startled, panic and mental restlessness. Thankfully, fright only happens in an instant and passes. But if the situation prolongs, excess fear will result.
Anxiety causes spleen energy to stagnate, resulting in its failure (with the stomach) to transport nutrients and water throughout the body. Prolonged anxiety can lead to the reduced production of energy (immunity) and blood, which can manifest as palpitations, amnesia, insomnia and dream-disturbed sleep. Weakened spleen energy function, furthermore, can affect the stomach, as manifested by poor appetite, abdominal distension, diarrhea and loose stools.
Again, all emotions are a normal part of life, and make it interesting. However, it is the prolonged maintenance of emotions that can lead to simple sings and symptoms of ill health and then to more serious or chronic pain issues. Be happy, be sad, be worried, be everything you can be… just experience life in balanced ways to prevent the emotions-pain connection!
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Written By: Updated: August 3,2011