The best healer of all is love.
Our well-being is a holistic system. We have four bodies of consciousness: the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. They are vibrational fields of energy, which overlap and affect one another – together they are all one but the energy is just expressing itself differently.
Feeling a situation as opposed to thinking about a situation is how we must properly use our physical body. This is the ultimate and intended purpose of the body; the heart will always express itself to us through our feeling/physical body. Learning to feel what our body is telling us and responding to those messages is the key to finding harmony, balance and overall wellbeing. Our emotional body is the sum of all of our emotional experiences throughout our life as well as our pleasures and desires. Hurtful experiences are energetically held and stored as layers of memory, within the subconscious and unconscious mind, within the body and this drives our thoughts and emotions. When unhealed and unresolved, these become deep wounds that ultimately start manifesting as physical symptoms.
Ancient Eastern civilizations have long understood the links between these, and how the cause of all physical ailments is rooted within our emotional and mental body. Western science too has begun to understand this interdependence with more and more research showing these links. In fact, every organ in our body corresponds to the energy of a specific emotion, and every illness stems from the imbalance of an organ and its meridians, which is its energy channels. This is a fundamental idea in Chinese medicine and many times a physical illness or a disorder stems from an imbalance of an emotion associated to that organ.
Understanding the cause of an ailment is crucial for healing. And yet the root cause of the physical ailment doesn’t stop at the physical level – it often times starts way before it manifests physically. Ailments usually begin from our emotional or spiritual bodies. Then, they become physical. This is a manifestation of something deeper, unseen, that has been unhealed for way too long. Of course, it is difficult to understand the power of our unseen world because we can’t see it.
Think of it that way: our body doesn’t know whether something is physically real or not. Every time we watch a movie that is stressful, as far as our body is concerned, these same emotions are happening to us. For example, our stomachs turn during the frightening scenes. Or close your eyes. Think of someone. Do you not feel they are beside you? Do you not almost smell them or feel their touch? Think of a lemon. Do you not feel its taste and scent? Every time we think, feel, imagine or see something, our body experiences it as if it’s real.
The root of many physical ailments can be traced to unhealed and unresolved emotional and mental wounds. Everything gets stored in the emotional body, and stays there, hidden until it is brought to the surface in some shape or form, desired to be finally felt, acknowledged and healed. When unresolved and unhealed for too long, or when on an internal level we need something that we are not giving it to ourselves yet, the body speaks louder and it may manifest physically, because it needs our attention and care.
Please know that the below is only general, and not a substitute for medical help and advice. Holistic methods are meant to be used as complements to traditional medicine. Also – please do not blame yourself thinking that you manifest all and everything in the cases of more serious ailments as this mentality will not help you. We live in a world where so much of our food contains toxins, we breathe often polluted air, and our cosmetics are full of toxins also.
So, how can we learn what the body is telling us?
1. Since the physical is manifested from a prior mental and emotional state that has been active within you, ask yourself: How do I feel about it? What thoughts do I have about it? These thoughts and feelings existed before the ailment, and are the key to what needs your attention right now to be resolved and healed. For example, skin issues make us feel insecure. Yet these feelings of insecurity were present before then such as worrying how they appeared to others and whether they were accepted by others. It is the self-acceptance that should be focused on. Other times skin issues may be related to our boundaries – maybe someone crossed our boundaries and hurt us, or maybe we just need to set stronger boundaries and not be so kind to everyone. The skin issues arise in this case to make us distance ourselves from other people.
2. Now focus on the when. When did the ailment happen and when did the symptoms first appeared? How have you been feeling in the weeks prior? What has been happening in your life and what thoughts did you most often have? For example, you might have started having back issues when you started having relationship problems and felt unsupported. Or maybe you started having stomach problems because you’ve been in an extended period of stress, worry and being too self-critical.
As an another example, people who don’t feel safe to express their emotions and feelings, and speak their truth, may sometimes start having swollen tonsils, sore throat, infections, and colds. This usually starts in childhood and many experience problems with their tonsils. To heal such issues they need to be encouraged to find their voice and be in loving, affectionate, supportive environments where they can learn to express themselves freely, rather than feel suppressed, oppressed and unsafe.
3. Now focus on the what. What are you prevented from doing or having because of your current situation? If I allow myself to have this in my life, would it be “wrong” or “a problem”? Our body is never against us – it always acts in the best way it knows how to support us. This means that we must be open to the understanding that our body attempted to help our subconscious desires. Let’s go back to the back pain example. They desired to be supported but felt unworthy to accept or ask for support. Many people who develop serious illness come from childhoods of unresolved emotional neglect. They spend their entire lives doing only what they have to do, and feeling neglected, unworthy, “not enough” and unfulfilled. The ailment ultimately says “stop doing what you’re doing and start living for you, for joy” because the body is trying to assist them in some way. Our body knows best and we must learn to listen to what it is telling us.
Another example is cold sores, which are often called “fire”. As many other things that we’ve discussed, they represent a physical manifestation of an inner contradiction. A “fire” on the lips can be caused by a harsh judgment against someone of the opposite sex that we have not expressed nor acknowledged, and as such we have retained it on our lips. Herpes can also manifest when we consider someone is repulsive to us or even disgusting. Let’s think about this literally: what does herpes restrict us from doing? Kissing. Herpes is the perfect excuse not to kiss someone – perhaps it is because we are angry with them and feel humiliated by something they’ve done to us. Conversely, cold sores can signal that we want to be kissed but haven’t received enough kisses recently, or that we’ve wanted to kiss someone and been more affectionate towards them but didn’t. It can also signify that we haven’t felt attractive lately and we are subconsciously trying to distance ourselves from others. Whatever the reasons and intentions – only we know our own answers and should spend some time listening to the quiet voice within us. Once we acknowledge our feelings, it will go away much faster than we think.
4. Just as expansion is a byproduct of desire, ailments are byproducts of resistances. The question is: resistance to what? We have to learn to move into the direction of what we desire. We have to stop distracting ourselves from being happy. This is also the key to healing.
Let’s think about this. What is the first thing we do when we have a cold? We start getting more rest and relaxation, we start drinking more water and tea, and we start eating healthier foods to cleanse our body. These are all ways for better health. When we get dry skin – we start moisturizing more. When we get skin issues – we start using better creams and we look at ourselves in the mirror, because we need to start appreciating our beauty and be grateful for who we are. And when we get some injury, the first thing we say is: Once this is healed, I will start exercising more. We heal stomach issues by acceptance, i.e. we stop resisting worry, we heal sadness and worry by being surrounded by people who truly love us, we heal our lungs by healing grief and staying in safe loving environments, we heal our bones by establishing stability, we heal our back by accepting support from others, we heal skin issues by establishing boundaries with people and accepting our selves for the beauty that we hold, we heal throat issues by expressing our emotions freely and speaking our truth, and we heal everything by having love, compassion, tenderness, affection, emotional support, loving touch, and belly-full laughters.
Our bodies are only trying to send us signals about which parts of us need more attention and caring. No matter what happens in our everyday life, our bodies carry us through it all; all of our parts come together for a mutual decision to say, yes to life, yes to us. We just need to understand their messages better.
Heal the emotional body. This begins by understanding how to feel our feelings, what our emotions are telling us, and then acknowledging and accepting our feelings. You can read my articles on Understanding The Emotional Body, The Brilliancy of Feelings, Tenderness, and Psycho-Cybernetics for more information.
Now, let’s a look at some of the main emotions and what organs in our body they correspond to, as well as how we take better care of their overall health.
Emotions and The Physical Body
Grief and Sorrow
Grief and sorrow are emotions associated with the lungs and the large intestine. Loss of any kind will often trigger a cold, flu-like symptoms, a feeling of being drained, and difficult bowel functions. Grief is incredibly difficult and will stay with us for a while, but one day we may release it, as we grow through its natural process of releasing. However, if it stays unresolved for many years, it may become chronic and something like depression or the “inability to let go” can set it. This is known as lung Qi Deficiency and may eventually intervene with lung function and oxygen circulation. It’s important to give ourselves the needed space and time to release our sadness, loss or grief.
Breathing is often thought of as lungs function alone, but it is actually done with our whole body. If you catch yourself breathing shallowly, ask yourself: Why am I breathing that way? Am I feeling safe here? This is because most times when we start breathing shallowly, we are in an environment that we are in resistance to, or you are feeling that someone near you is exerting aggression towards you, even if in a subtle way, and so subconsciously you are trying not to receive this energy. When we breathe, we are not only receiving oxygen and life energy, but we are also receiving information that goes inside our entire body. And so – in situations where we will feel unsafe for any reason, maybe feeling that we are made to do something we wouldn’t want to, or that we are restricted in some way, or our identity is being negated, we subconsciously close off our receiving channel and may even develop breathing problems.
The lungs also have to do with grief that has been stored. When such hurtful experiences have been stored within us and unhealed, they can develop later on in life in the form of addictions such as smoking and complications, such as pneumonia. Furthermore, inflammation is about boundary overstep and it is connected to anger – for which case stomach and spleen should also be examined. When we experience simple colds – they are usually connected to our immediate environment or our weakened immune system. In both cases, take a look at what has happened recently, did someone say something negative to you, did you feel sad or hurt? Then, try to deal with the emotions and you’ll see the cold vanish immediately.
Another organ that also deals with grief is the heart – but this is more of the immediate grief, where as the lungs store grief. This means that you start feeling disconnected from life, even if you’re breathing, there remains a heaviness. The key is to start breathing deeply again – and the more you breathe consciously and deeply, the more the grief will start loosening inside the lungs, which means the more you’ll feel like crying because this is how you are releasing the grief. And for some people crying is tough and uncomfortable, so they stop doing this and may come back to this later on. Grief can also relate to separations and breakups – and these hurt incredibly. It is important to remember the good times with that person and release them in peace. Hold onto the beautiful memories and the treasure that you’ve shared together.
To help with breathing and our lungs – it is important to stand up straight and be relaxed. Also, find ways to add more joy in your life, as this connects you deeper into your true core self. Focus on doing things you love to do and spend time with people you feel safe with, and supported by. Light exercise, such as walking in nature and dancing, will also help your breathing and relaxation. White coloured crystals are also a great way to release anything from the lungs – you can place them on your body or around the house.
Foods to balance: mullein, St. John’s wort, white coloured foods and herbs, onions, radish, mustard greens, daikon radish, almonds, white meat, white rice, white beans, white mushrooms, gingko nut, white mustard seed, angelica root tangerine peel
Foods to reduce: eggs, dairy, processed or fatty foods that cause congestion
Fear is the emotion of the kidneys and the bladder. Kidney issues often arise when we are dealing with fear, such as going through a change in life direction or some instability in our living conditions.
In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are associated with fear, anxiety and the stored ancestral energy. The ancestral energy, especially on the grandfathers’ side, carries its imprint of thought pattern – so when we work with the health of the kidneys, we must dive deep and try to understand: how did they think, how did they react, what were they aligned to? What we must be focusing on are the patterns of those grandfathers who were authoritarian and perfectionists, especially in harsh ways, as these will have an imprint on generations to come. Another aspect of the kidneys, is relationships. So any relationship that’s not supportive and nourishing will induce fear, anxiety, and affect our kidney’s health. We also have to look at the kidneys – which one is the yin kidney and which one is the yang kidney. The yang kidney carries the imprint of the father, and the yin kidney carries the imprint of the yang energy of the mother. So, if the yin kidney is being affected somehow – we have to look at the yang energy of the mother for the underlying cause. This means looking at questions such as, “How did she express herself? Was she aggressive?”
In general, every time we feel unsupported and unprotected we will feel anxiety and fear which impact out kidneys. It is important to have hugs from loved ones and be in loving, compassionate, supportive environments. The tissue connected to the kidneys is the bone. Like I wrote above, anything connected to our bones is usually connected to feeling unsupported and having unstable foundations – so the ways to heal any bone health issues is through stability and support.
The best thing you can do for your kidney health is to stop energy drain – so don’t connect to people who drain your energy, who are disrespectful and who make you feel territorial. This is because we all need to have our safe loving space for our wellbeing and thriving.
Foods to balance: salty flavoured and black coloured foods and herbs, black beans, walnuts, black sesame, mushrooms, water chestnuts, seaweed, blackberries, black tea, psoralia root, lotus seed, stephania root, juniper, ginger root, parsley, dandelion
Foods to reduce: cheese, salt, heavy meat, sugars, excessively cooling foods
Worry and Nervousness
Worry is the emotion of the spleen and the stomach. Too much worrying weakens our ability to digest, and also makes us tired and lethargic. One way to deal with this is through acceptance and trust, in ourselves and our life situation.
Foods to balance: sweet flavoured and yellow/orange/brown colored foods and herbs, root veggies, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, chestnuts, fig, taro, liquorice root, ginger root
Foods to reduce: meats, cold, raw, and all frozen foods, iced drinks, excess refined sugars
Anger and Frustration
Anger is the emotion of the liver and gallbladder. When we experience emotions like rage and aggravation for too long, without resolving the cause of our anger, our liver can get further damaged. Headaches and dizziness are common to manifest. An imbalanced gallbladder can also be caused by longstanding feelings of repressed anger, such as resentment, frustration, irritability and holding onto grudges. Avoiding outbursts of anger protects the liver and the gallbladder – and this is why it is important to deal with our anger in a healthy manner.
One of the simple ways that we can support the health of our liver, and our Qi energy, is a glass of water and lemon in the mornings. You can also try intermittent fasting and some sort of liver cleanse now and then, not too often. Another way is to take a brush and stroke your legs upward, from your ankle towards your inner thigh. Do this for a few minutes as it will stimulate Qi energy. This also helps our lymphatic system.
Anger is one of the most important emotions in this life; it is passion and life, and it is destruction; it can feed us and warm us in winter, and it can also burn our house. It is absolutely important to know how to manage and deal with our anger. The first thing is: never shut it down, you need to acknowledge it. Ask yourself: “Has there been a boundary overstep and that’s why I’m angry? Was I disrespected? Why am I angry?” We need to understand its message, because it has its purpose and use just like all other emotions. We shouldn’t suppress it, but we shouldn’t express it lashing out. We need to know how to channel it in a healthy way. Just like we do liver cleanse, we need to do anger cleansing. For instance, go for a run, punch a pillow – but most importantly, acknowledge your anger, whether it was deceit, betrayal, boundary overstep, disrespect, or humiliation. Whatever the reason was – allow your emotions to flow, just direct it towards a form of transformation – whether as a thought pattern, change of environment or friendships.
Foods to balance: sour flavoured and green colored foods and herbs, dandelion greens, beetroot, green bell pepper, peas, sprouts, bok choy, string beans, cabbage, zucchini, mung beans, avocado, citrus
Foods to reduce: soft dairy, crabmeat, buckwheat, alcohol, fried foods, peanuts, and excess citrus
Most often stress and anxiety show up as skin issues such as rashes, acne, inflammation, and may trigger rosacea, eczema and psoriasis flare ups. Aside from that anxiety can have four origins. If it’s related to the lungs and the large intestine, it can provoke shallow and irregular breathing, and a person may be more prone to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Kidney and bladder issues can also be the cause of anxiety. Our adrenals regulate our stress responses and when adrenal problems become chronic, they cause anxiety. Liver imbalance can also trigger anxiety, especially when longstanding anger and resentment have stayed unresolved. Excessive worry and nervousness are also causes of anxiety, and may cause bloating and swelling, as they relate to the spleen and stomach.
Foods to balance: cooling foods to build yin energy, celery, tofu, valerian, chamomile, plums, tangerine, liquorice, ginseng
Foods to reduce: caffeine, stimulants, alcohol, cinnamon
Happiness, Joy and Sadness
Happiness and joy are emotions associated with the heart and the small intestine. When we experience them, we are nourishing these organs and our wellbeing. When we are lacking joy in our lives, we’ll feel stuck, our heart may have difficulties, and we may experience disturbed sleep patterns or insomnia. On the other hand, over-stimulated heart energy may also cause agitations, palpitations and difficulty sleeping – even good emotions can be out of balance.
The heart and the mind are intimately connected. Any negative states of mind such as, worry, anxiety, sadness, depression, loneliness, anger and chronic stress, may increase the risk of heart-related problems and disease, and contribute to existing heart issues. Like we already mentioned, grief affects the heart, also. In the immediate state of grief, the heart feels like it is frozen – and if the grief is then long unresolved, it moves to the lungs. The “broken heart syndrome”, also called stress cardiomyopathy, can occur in reaction to stressful, shocking news and sudden events. And strong emotions and actions such as anger, aggression and screaming, can cause heart palpitations and irregular heart rhythms. Prolonged stress also affects our heart health, and overall health, so stress management is absolutely crucial to live better, healthier lives. While we can’t diminish all stress in our everyday – we can atleast make sure we live in safe, loving, peaceful environments, and be discerning with the people we choose to hang out with. Anything that causes us unwanted stress should be eliminated or alleviated immediately.
It is important to be in loving, supportive environments where we can surround ourselves with joy, affection and a sense of connection. For people who live alone, they must find a way somehow to socialize with others, get a pet, or even go for a walk outside on a daily basis – so that they feel connected.
Foods to balance: bitter flavoured and red colored foods and herbs, beet, tomato, okra, cherry, watermelon, broccoli rabe, bitter melon, lettuce, arugula, dandelion, berries, green tea, lotus root, sour jujube seed, arbor-vitae seed, mimosa tree bark, ginseng, hawthorn berries
Foods to reduce: excess spicy foods, chocolate, sugar, salt, vinegar, garlic
The best healer of all is love. Be mindful of your environment, and surround yourself with people who love you, accept you, support you and are affectionate towards you; where you can express your own emotions freely without feeling suppressed, oppressed, unsafe or uncomfortable. Relieve stress and take care of your emotions. Your body thanks you.
*Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is not a substitute for a medical or mental diagnosis. I am not a mental/medical health provider and am not holding myself to be that in any capacity. I am not providing counselling or therapy services, nor am I attempting to diagnose, treat or cure any physical or mental ailment. I am a coach/mentor who assists you in gaining more self-awareness in reaching your own goals through personal accountability and guidance. Any choices and consequences following this article are completely your own.
For more of my articles, browse through my publication Art of Love.
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