How Acupuncture Balances the Six Emotions

Raj SharmaNews and Blog4 Comments

In traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, the relationship between health and emotions are extremely important, and when I am diagnosing illness, I always examine the persons emotional balance to help correct any underlying causes which may exacerbate problems.
Some people may wonder how emotions can interfere with the physical body, but if you have ever felt angry or stressed and then noticed how neck pain can develop soon after as the anger aggravates ligaments and tendons through the liver organ, you can see the reality of this. The phrase “a pain in the neck” wasn’t just plucked out of thin air. Frustration and anger cause neck pain!
The six emotions
as detailed in the Nei jing (a classic study of Chinese medicine presented to the Chinese emperor) are listed below:
1. Anger
2. Joy
3. Sadness
4. Worry
5. Fear
6. Shock
These in turn will affect a certain organ, (or possibly more than one, as we shall see)
Anger primarily affects the Liver. Anger is a very broad term, and I also include frustration, resentment, indignation etc within this category. An angry liver is not good, as not only does it cause problems for the liver itself, it can also “invade” other organs causing patterns such as Liver invades stomach, which is essentially stomach problems brought on by stress.
Joy in itself is obviously not a cause of disease, so again this should be taken in a broad context. Joy, normal calm contentment is a fantastic state for the body, so what this refers to is a state of excitement and stimulation that is continual (no matter how pleasurable the stimulation). This pattern usually reflects in people with a ‘play hard’ lifestyle. This kind of lifestyle can injure the heart, causing palpitations and other heart related issues.
Sadness, (and I include grief within this) will affect the lungs primarily, and the heart secondarily. I often treat people for asthma, and the amount of those people whose symptoms started after a bereavement is uncanny. There is an acupuncture point specifically for grief, called lung 7, which is incredible in its ability to help people recover.
Worry /pensiveness/overthinking most often affects the spleen, and is also affected by the spleen. People with spleen issues often just repeat the same thoughts over and over, even though thinking about whatever it is will not affect the outcome in any way.
The spleen is paired with the stomach, so people with spleen based issues often have digestive issues, a problem with a lack of muscle tone, and a sagging of the muscles of the body and face.
Fear is the emotion pertaining to the kidneys, and anxiety or panic attacks are included within this. Constant fear or anxiety can manifest itself in breathing issues, low pitch tinnitus, urinary problems, aches in the bones, fertility issues and many other issues.
Shock is in a slightly different category, as its effects are felt in two separate organs of heart and kidney, and manifestations of those are detailed above.

All of these organs work in a mutuality with the specific emotion. As an example, anger will damage the liver organ, but impaired liver organ function will make you angry and irritable, and treatment would have the aim of relieving the anger, as well as treating the liver function. Acupuncture is great at balancing emotions, and it does it remarkably quickly.
I hope you enjoyed reading this very simplified overview of the emotions. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit my website and leave a comment.

Myles Glover Dip.Tui na

4 Comments on “How Acupuncture Balances the Six Emotions”

  1. Whilst there is no unambiguous, agreed definition of acupuncture there is no possibility of an unambiguous placebo. Therefore it is not possible to prove that “acupuncture” is superior to placebo and efficacy becomes an article of faith for believers.
    If there were universally clear, well defined points, for well defined conditions, with well defined doses, then a placebo form of acupunture would be possible.
    Acupuncture as is, is beyond the bounds of science.

    1. Perhaps outside the bounds of science in a Western framework…but we’re all about the results and it works incredibly effectively for a lot of people.

    2. I am not quite sure what you mean. There are unambiguous definitions of acupuncture, but the methods of comparison will by definition involve using the same points. And using those points is what triggers the results, not the use of a needle ( although this brings about faster results ). I have a selection of tools that do not break the skin in any way, yet will get a result, although not as effectively, in my opinion. I regularly even just use my hands to get results in cases where people don’t want to be needled. These tools are what are used in comparison tests. There are also plenty of thermal imaging measurements that show immediate reduction in local and systemic inflammation. I do agree in contexts of the emotions, it is difficult to measure, but that is because of its subjectivity ( has you happiness level increased can only be answered subjectively ; this would be the same as measuring clinical efficacy in western anti depressant trials though, subjectivity slants things)
      With regard to efficacy being a matter of faith, some of my favourite people to treat are sceptical people. In fact I am one of the most sceptical people you could meet. Of course I am not denying positivity isn’t helpful, as it is in everything in life, but in no way is it necessary for any belief structure to be in place. The only evidence I can produce for that is that it works on animals, which have a fairly limited belief system I think.
      With regard to being universally clear, defined points, with well defined dosage for well defined conditions, there are literally thousands of these protocols, but a good acupuncturists will tailor these to an individual. You wouldn’t treat a mild back strain as frequently as you would a severe back sprain, even if the root of the problems are exactly alike. An older person would usually (but not always) require more treatments than a younger person as generally their repair systems are not as efficient, so dosage will be a variable, the same as within western medicine.
      I am not quite sure why a placebo form of acupuncture would be needed, as we already have acupuncture, and it has been used for thousands of years, and will probably be used for thousands more. Hope this helps.

  2. Great attractive and informative story, i got huge of important idea from your post. A big thanks for sharing with us !!

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