In my previous articles I have discussed the benefit of acupuncture and herbs for physical problems. Recently I have seen many patients who have been experiencing some major shifts in their lives due to relationship problems, the economy and also their work. At this level of acupuncture it is important for me to ask some vital questions, “Who is this unique and individual patient? How is this patient? What does this patient need to become whole and complete on all levels?” It seems that for now I am interested in my patients mental and spiritual well-being. Any symptom can be the result of imbalance and once there is imbalance in one organ, there is imbalance in all of them. In Chinese Medicine all the organs have an emotion attached to them. For instance the Liver is connected to anger and anxiety, the Heart is connected to joy, the Spleen is worry, Kidney is fear, and the Lungs are grief. When someone gets in the position of over using these emotions, they create excess in that particular organ. My job is to balance out the organs so that my patient feels a sense of balance and relief.
In Chinese Medicine, emotions are mental stimuli, which disturb the Mind and the Ethereal and Corporeal Souls. These in turn alter the balance of the internal organs, which affects the harmony of the Qi and Blood. The Heart’s fear anxiety and pensiveness injure the Mind…the Spleen’s worry, injures the intellect, the Liver’s sadness and shock injures the Ethereal Soul, the Lung’s excessive joy injures the Corporeal Soul and the Kidney’s anger injures the will-power to move forward. In some cases, guilt may also arise from repressed anger and may go inwards and cause an attitude of self-punishment. An imbalance starts on an emotional level and/or mental level and begins to disturb “the shen” which is the heart. This in turn causes Qi stagnation and /or blood stagnation that affect our spirit as well as our organs.
I recently treated a patient who is in her thirties and whose companion was called to work in another city for an extended period of time. This arrangement brought up so much fear for her due to the fact that everything was changing and she began to feel unneeded, lonely and very emotional and this in turn created doubts regarding the relationship, her home and her work. She began to feel tremendous stress and became so stagnant that she didn’t even have the energy to get up in the morning. She claimed that even when she was young she felt this type of extreme sensitivity and was very emotional. It seems amazing for these emotions to come up so strongly and also to be so tied into one’s past and to see how someone still can respond in a similar way but they are thirty years older. Perhaps this becomes a time to heal past responses. For this patient I worked on the Kidney energy, which has to do with fear and also the Heart energy, having to do with the deep emotional upsets.
There are very good Chinese formulas that can calm the heart and nourish the Kidneys. Along with the treatments and the herbs I also changed her diet and gave her an exercise routine where she could get out in the morning. After two treatments she began to feel more stable and began to look at what she could do during this time to strengthen her own needs and become happier within. In three weeks she was able to create a healthier state of peace within herself and transform some old ideas about herself. I do not think this is an easy thing to do but I do feel that whatever is given us to handle is the very thing that we need to look at and embrace so that we can experience our own individual transformation. This is an important time for many people to do this type of work so they can move out of the old and into the new.