What comes first; the chicken or the egg? Does mental affliction cause physical disease or is it physical disease that causes mental affliction?
To most, it is easy to understand that if somebody has physical disease, for example abdominal pain, they may not be able to get out and about to socialize and enjoy life due to the severity of pain. This in turn may lead to depression. However, if somebody is depressed will this then cause abdominal pain?
Chinese Medicine connects each organ of the body to a different emotion. TCM believes too much of one emotion can cause damage to the organ and vice versa.
An example that is commonly understood is obesity. When somebody is overly emotional or going through a hard time they may eat more and get fat. Similarly, if you eat unhealthy food, the brain will not work as well as it will be lacking in nutrition, thus, obesity then leads to emotional discontent. Both physical and mental aspects of health go hand in hand.
In Chinese Medicine 5 Element theory, the kidneys relate to fear, the liver to anger, the heart to joy, the spleen/stomach to intellect and the lungs to grief.
Think of the angry man with the red face and hot temper at the pub, he most likely has a problem with his liver. This makes sense as the liver is responsible for detoxifying the body from substances such as alcohol. It is likely that this liver condition has lead to the angry outburst! And in turn, if these angry outbursts continue, anger will further damage the liver!
For this reason, consider your emotions and lifestyle choices. If you notice an abundance of a certain emotion, make yourself become aware so you can adjust your behaviour and preserve health for the future!
The correlations will be further discussed in the next blog entry.