Can Emotions Cause Disease?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on the principle that mental and physical well-being are both intricately interwoven. Your emotions and physical health are intimately linked.
The current emotional state of the patient is one internal factor in the creation of an individual’s diagnosis, while the physical state is the external factor.
Traditionally in the East, the mental and emotional state of a patient is considered to be more important than the physical symptoms themselves. Chinese medicine has been around for 4,000 years, and in that time it has taken into account both the mental and physical aspects of disease.
Similarly in the West, there is a relatively new field of medical research, which studies the interaction between your psychological processes, central nervous, as well as immune systems of your body. This relatively new field of medical research is called psychoneuroimmunology. It’s the study of the effect of your emotions on disease and your health.
These studies indicate that virtually every illness from the common cold, heart disease, to even cancer, can be influenced positively or negatively by a person’s mental or emotional state.
Today, we all are beginning to recognize the role of the positive mind in the prevention and cure of illness. We are slowly acknowledging that emotions have an effect and impact on the health of your internal organs, and your physical body.
Emotions are considered a cause of disease under certain conditions.
For example, if you have mental suffering brought on by prolonged grief, then your lungs can be affected and result in an ailment.
The prolonged experience of an emotion or the suppression of emotion causes an imbalance in your body and dysfunction of the organ systems.
Have you ever thought of what the underlying condition may be for your shortness of breath, shallow breathing, chronic fatigue, or for your coughing all the time?
What are the underlying conditions behind your frequent colds, flu, or your burst of allergies? What about your asthma, dry skin, or even depression?
These are all symptoms of lung imbalance.
Have you ever lost someone and felt sad all the time and did this sadness lead to a mental or physical illness? It’s time to check in with your lungs.
The lungs are our first line of defense against external pathogens, and their primary function is to deliver chi throughout the rest of your body. Prolonged, unprocessed grief disturbs the lungs’ function, consumes your energy, leading to exhaustion.
We know that in today’s medical field, some doctors treat the symptoms. They rarely look for the underlying conditions causing illness.
So what do you do?
What Are Examples of Self-care?
Tai Chi and meditation are specific techniques for attaining a peaceful mental state, which can help prevent and cure sickness. Tai Chi is an integrated mind and body approach to health and healing using breathing and movement with your hands, feet, and entire body. Your body moves together as one whole unit. Your mind is used to direct the Chi to move your body and the movement sends blood throughout your entire system. Tai Chi helps the functioning of your internal organs by sending energy to them.
In Chinese medicine, your emotions are associated with specific organs in your body.
If you are angry all the time, then your liver may be suffering.
If you are constantly in fear, then it’s probably a good time to check out your kidneys.
If you’re worried all the time, then maybe your spleen needs to get a boost of energy.
If you feel overwhelming sadness, and if you have long-lasting grief, then it’s time to work out your lungs.
Right now the world is experiencing more lung problems than at any time in human history. And the number of Americans suffering from skin conditions is far more prevalent than previously thought. The skin is sometimes called the third lung of your body, and it is also your biggest organ.
According to Chinese medicine, your lungs are a part of your entire breathing system, which includes your skin. The skin breathes through tiny little perforations much like a teabag.
As your lungs are the interface between your internal and external worlds, the skin is also a barrier between the two worlds. In the same manner, you exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in your lungs, you’re also exchanging energy and waste through your skin.
Exercising your lungs is vitally important to your health and full expansion/contraction of your lungs allows for full absorption of energy.
When you expand and contract, you help the lungs fight disease-causing agents. To determine if you have healthy lungs, simply measure the length of your inhale and exhale. If exhalation is longer than your inhalation, you may have poor health since more is going out of your body than coming in. If your inhalation is longer, you may have good health since more energy is being taken into your body.
How To Take Care Of Your Lungs Naturally?
Let’s do a quick exercise for your lungs:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your feet are parallel to each other. Your back is straight. Your chin is slightly tucked in toward your chest. Your head is erect as if the back of your neck is being stretched upward into the sky.
2. Exhale and clasp your hands behind your back like this (follow along with the video to get a visual).
3. With your hands clasped behind your back, inhale slowly and expand your chest.
4. As you expand your chest, push your hands away from the back of your body.
5. Practice this a few times. Inhale and push your hands away from your back, expanding your chest. Then exhale and release and let go.
6. Let’s do this again. Clasp your hands behind your back. Inhale slowly, expand your chest and push your hands away from your back and keep your chin tucked towards your chest. Use your chest to breathe.
7. Then this time, exhale and drop your hands, by letting go. Bring your hands out in front of you.
8. Raise your arms and bring your hands toward your head. Go around your back and bring the arms back up in front of your body. Point your fingers out throughout the rotation, then interlace your fingers behind your back again, and begin to exercise with inhalation again.
Raise Your Arms In Victory
Practice this exercise a few times because it opens your lungs. You want to raise and lift the lungs up in doing so.
When you raise your hands and your arms, you feel happy. You feel victorious. Sometimes, the shape that you make in your body gives you an emotional response. In this case, when you raise your hands in a victory posture, then you’re going to feel happy. You feel full of joy because you’re raising your lungs up high.
Doing Tai Chi is a great way for you to move your hands and feet. When you move and get into certain positions, you feel a release and flow of energy. More importantly, doing Tai Chi is good for your lungs and makes your cheeks rosy!
What if you can feel the fresh energy come in to invigorate your lung tissues as you inhale? What if you can feel all your germs, stale air, toxins leave your lungs as you exhale?
Now you’re thinking: How can I have optimal health by balancing my Chi and how can I use the complementary forces of yin and yang to release my emotions and keep the energy flowing?
SIGN UP for Tai Chi class today and learn more about the powerful link between mind and body in the healing process.