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Emotions and Their Impact on the Body: A Traditional Chinese Medicine PerspectivePublished by

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a unique view of health, emphasizing the deep interconnection between mind and body. In this blog, we'll explore TCM's psycho-visceral entities, the link between psyche and organs, key emotions, their imbalances, and how to restore emotional harmony.

Psycho-Visceral Entities in TCM

TCM recognizes five main organs (Wu Zang) that are associated with specific emotions:

  1. The Heart - linked to joy.

  2. The Liver - associated with anger.

  3. The Spleen - connected to worry and overthinking.

  4. The Lungs - related to sadness and melancholy.

  5. The Kidneys - associated with fear.

The Union of Psyche and Organs

In TCM, emotions are not just psychological responses but also physiological manifestations. Emotions are believed to directly influence the Qi (vital energy) of the corresponding organs. For example, excessive anger can disrupt the liver's Qi, leading to energy imbalance and health issues.

The Main Emotions in TCM

Emotions are considered natural responses to the environment. However, when excessive or inappropriate, they can become pathological:

  • Excessive Joy (Heart): Can lead to mental agitation.

  • Anger (Liver): Can cause headaches and menstrual problems.

  • Worry (Spleen): Can lead to digestive issues.

  • Sadness (Lungs): Can weaken Qi and cause fatigue.

  • Fear (Kidneys): Can lead to urinary problems or back pain.

Emotional Imbalance

Emotional imbalance in TCM is often the result of Qi disruption. This can be caused by external factors (like climate) or internal ones (like stress or hormonal imbalances).

Balancing Emotions

To restore emotional balance, TCM suggests several approaches:

  • Acupuncture: to regulate Qi.

  • Herbal Medicine: to support and harmonize organ functions.

  • Qi Gong and Tai Chi: to manage stress and improve Qi circulation.

  • Balanced Diet: to nourish the organs.

Effects of Emotions on the Body

In TCM, emotions are not isolated from the body's physiology. For example, anger can cause a rise of Yang in the liver, leading to headaches or dizziness. Sadness can weaken the lungs' Qi, leading to shortness of breath or immune weakness.


Understanding the role of emotions in TCM helps us view health holistically. By treating the body and mind as an integrated whole, we can achieve a deeper and more lasting state of well-being.

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