Emotions & Chinese Medicine Philosophy

Emotions hold much importance in Chinese Medicine. Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine practitioners don’t view emotions as a separate area, but inclusive in your overall health and wellbeing. According to Chinese Medicine philosophy each organ is associated with an emotion. When unbalanced specific signs and symptoms may arise.

Emotions are a natural part of everyday life. It is perfectly normal to experience various emotions throughout the day, we can experience joy only to feel frustrated hours later. Problems arise when emotions become excessive, repressed and internalised. It is at this point where illness begins to arise. As an example, if you hold on to anger over a long period of time, temporal headaches may begin to occur frequently.

Sometimes when a particular Organ is unbalanced an emotion may arise. However, emotional imbalance can disrupt the Organ as well (Note: Organ refer to the Chinese medicine understanding). A very common cause of an emotional imbalance is repressed emotions. If emotions aren’t being expressed what occurs is that this internalisation leads to stagnation of Qi (Energy) flow leading to the development of disease and disharmony within the body.

5 Yin Organs and their Related Emotions


Emotion – Joy

Emotion is out of balance – Feelings of being unsettled, easily startled, mental restlessness, lack of enthusiasm, lack of vitality, feelings of depression and melancholy, insomnia, confusion and anxiety. Bitter taste in mouth all day, tongue ulcers at tip.

Organ is out of balance – Insomnia, palpitations, spontaneous sweating, excessive dreaming, poor memory and concentration, dizziness.


Emotion – Worry

Emotion out of balance – Overthinking, focusing on a particular thought constantly.

Organ out of balance – Tired, lack of appetite, bloating/abdominal distention, loose stools, poor digestion, mucus/phlegm formation, difficulty concentrating and focusing, weakness of muscles, pale lips, menstrual issues such as excessive bleeding, oedema, craving sweets, possible prolapse of



Emotion – Sadness

Emotion out of balance – Excessive sadness and grief, lots of tears/crying.

Organ out of balance – Shortness of breath, cough, pale complexion, tiredness, low immunity hence easily catches colds, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, chest oppression/fullness, dry skin, weak voice, cold hands, dull hair.


Emotion – Fear

Emotion out of balance – Feeling fearful even without danger or reason, no or lack of willpower, feeling insecure.

Organ out of balance – Weak/brittle bones, frequent urination, urinary incontinence, fertility issues, breathlessness, chronic asthma, poor hearing, tinnitus, early greying of hair, hair loss, vertigo, night sweats, lower back and knee pain, short term memory loss, dry mouth.


Emotion – Anger

Emotion out of balance – Anger, feelings of frustration and irritability, resentment, bitterness, moodiness.

Organ out of balance – Menstrual issues such as pain + blood clotting, bitter taste in mouth especially in the morning, chest distention, red face, ringing of ears, yellow jaundice complexion, headaches especially temporal in location, nausea, vomiting, excessive sighing, breast tenderness, blurred vision/floaters in front of eyes, dry skin and hair.

The above information is extremely valuable to Chinese Medicine practitioners in determining where your disharmony is occurring and hence our course of treatment. This includes providing you with lifestyle advice which encompasses diet, movement/exercise advice and stress management.

To find out more and learn what Organ your emotions are connect to, please make a time to see one of our experienced Chinese medicine practitioners.

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