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Internal Causes of illness: Perverse Emotions

Other than the cause-and-effect relationship between perverse climatic conditions and disease we talked about in the last article, another important Chinese medicine concept is that emotions (namely, anger, fear, grief, joy and anxiety) also influence health. Chinese medicine holds that when certain emotions are experienced in excess, they'll affect particular organs. Specifically, anger is associated with the liver, fear with the kidneys, grief with the lungs, joy with the heart, and anxiety with the spleen. While the explicit connection between emotions and the vital organs is not always obvious, examples such as the effect of grief  and weeping on the lungs or how anxiety can affect the spleen or stomach (by causing digestive problems in general or a nervous or upset stomach in particular) are more apparent.

Not just emotions an important sources of diagnosis, Chinese medicine assigns even greater importance to them by stating that the combined effects of external climatic elements and internal emotional factors are major precipitating factors in all forms of disease. So excessive emotion for a long period of time can cause cancer - that's why we got the line, "Don't worry. Be happy." Worries, fears, sadness can really kill somebody.

In fact, the close investigation afforded by traditional Chinese medicine to psychological and climatological factors is rivaled only by the attention given to what are considered the two primary substances in human physiology: the blood and the Chi (Qi)

(sources:  Chinese Herbal Medicine made easy by Thomas Richard Joiner.)