For example, a stressful week juggling family, cooking and work commitments can result in an emotional uproar of irritability and anger. In Chinese Medicine this can effect the Liver, and result in multiple signs and symptoms including painful menstrual cycles, breast distension, headaches, dizziness, red eyes, dry mouth or a red/flushed face. Alternatively, an imbalance with the Liver can result in an uproar of stormy mood swings.
Hence, when we say Chinese Medicine Acupuncture delves beyond the surface level, we mean that it is believed that emotional imbalances can act as both symptoms and causes for physical issues. Additionally, mental health conditions are linked to specific physical ailments of key organs in Chinese Theory. Organ systems in Chinese Medicine may include Western Medicine physiological functions, however they are always viewed as a part of the integrated, holistic 'whole' body system - meaning the entire mind and body may be observed and evaluated during your treatment to improve a specific health condition or concern that you might have.
Emotions: "Flying off the handle", reactive, impulsive, anger, resentment, depression, frustration, irritability and bitterness.
Functions:Involved in the smooth flow of energy and blood throughout the body. The function of digestion and processing of nutrients are the primary functions, including the regulation of bile secretion, it stores blood, and is connected with the tendons, ligaments, nails and eyes.
Lung - The Metal Element
Emotions: Sadness, Grief, Detachment.
Functions: Breathing/respiration brings energy/oxygen from the air into the body and removes carbon dioxide, and distributes fresh oxygen throughout the body. The Lung works with the Kidneys to regulate water metabolism, an is an important organ for immune function and resistance to bacteria and viruses. The Lung opens to the skin, the pores, and regulates the sweat glands and body hair, providing moisture to the skin.
Spleen - The Earth Element
Emotions: Ruminating thoughts, obsessive thoughts, overthinking, focusing too much on a particular topic, excessive mental work such as worry.
Functions: The Spleen plays an important part on the body immune system, acting as a blood filter, removing old blood cells, bacteria and any impurities. The main function of the Spleen is the Transformation and Transportation of fluids in the body, aids digestion and nutrient absorption, helping to create blood, a strong Spleen keeps the blood in its vessels. It is connected to the muscles, lips and mouth and essential for memory, learning/studying and thinking.
Heart - The Fire Element
Emotions: Mental restlessness, depression, insomnia, despair, lack of enthusiasm and vitality. The heart is linked with the emotion of Joy; an imbalance of joy is expressed as either too much (agitation and restlessness) or too little (depression).
Functions: The heart pumps blood throughout the body; thereby regulation the blood circulation and blood vessels, it is responsible for heart palpitations and regular pulse. It influences/nourished the shen (mind), vitality and spirit. It is connected with the tongue, arteries and facial complexion.
Kidney - The Water Element
Emotions: Insecurity, weak willpower, aloof, fear, being fearful, isolation. In Chinese Medicine Kidneys are linked to Fear, which can manifest as chronic fear or anxiety.
Functions: The key organ for sustaining life - responsible for reproduction, growth and development and maturation. The Kidneys remove waste and excess fluid to make urine, they link wiht the Lungs to regulate water metabolism and respiration. The Kidneys are connected with bones, teeth, head hair and the ears.
The body is always telling or showing up subtle signs or symptoms - It is up to us to look inward, reflect and notice these signs and symptoms. By doing so allows us to use Chinese Medicine, or ourselves, as tools and strategies to enhance our wellbeing, live optimally and understand what we need to regain balance and control of our lives.