During yesterday’s blog, I started the discussion on the affects of emotions on our organs. I specifically talked about the Zang Fu organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen, gallbladder, large intestine, small intestine, urinary bladder, and the san jiao (the triple system). Anger was also covered in its relationship to the liver.
With all that is going on today, fear is probably one of the biggest emotion many are feeling. I have seen so many social media posts regarding fear. Some posts’ intentions seemed to garner or promote fear. Other posts have been encouraging people to not live in fear of “da rona”. Some people have gone as far as to shame those who have decided to stay indoors, and limit their outings by calling them sheep.These times are truly unprecedented (as far as I have experienced), and I often wonder if we will ever get to the point of normalcy as we knew it before the pandemic.There has to be a pragmatic middle ground for both extremes.
What does fear do?
Regardless of it being “Rona times”, fear has a real impact on our emotional and physical well being. Fear depletes the essence , for it blocks the upper burner , which makes qi descend. Fear can affect children differently than it affects adults. In Children, when Qi descends it causes nocturnal enuresis. Enuresis, which is the involuntary discharge of urine, if often caused by fear of feeling of insecurity due to a situation in the family. In an adult, fear and chronic anxiety can cause Kidney yin deficiency or heart yin deficiency. This can manifest in symptoms of night sweating, palpitations, dry mouth and throat, or a flushed feeling (heat) in the face.
Some symptoms of the affects of fear
- Involuntary urination (mainly in children)
- Back issues
- Menstrual disorders
- Sexual disorders
- soreness and weakness of the lumbar regions and knees
- ringing in the ears
- hearing problems
- a dry mouth and throat
- a hot sensation in the palms, soles and chest
- spontaneous sweating
- constipation, and
- seminal emission.
As mentioned earlier, prolonged fear and anxiety can also cause the heart yin deficiency. This is manifested as anxiety and restlessness, palpitations, insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, easily startled, poor memory, fidgeting, mallor flush, night sweats, heat in the 5 palms, and dry mouth.
All emotions are inevitable, physiologically normal and will not cause disease when they arise in daily life. Chinese medicine only considers emotions as pathological when they are repressed, contained, or expressed intensely, often, without control, or out of context. Experiencing feelings and emotional stability are cornerstones of good mental health. Too strong or too weak emotions can lead to physical and mental disorders.
When we experience extreme fright, our kidneys struggle to hold qi and we can quite literally pee our pants. Involuntary urination like this is often seen in ‘stage fright’. Some foods that may help us to balance our fear includes consuming black beans, walnuts, black sesame, mushrooms, water chestnuts, seaweed, blackberries, and black tea. Furthermore, we should avoid or reduce eating cheese, salt, heavy meat, sugars, excessively cooling foods. Using food as our medicine is not a new concept. Recipes and remedies have been used across multiple civilizations, across many centuries.
Finally, regardless of which approach you take, you should first start with acknowledging your feelings, and constantly taking stock of where we are emotionally, and how long we have been there. I encourage you to do some more research for yourself. Tune in tomorrow as we talk about grief.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, nor intend to present myself as one. I am simply sharing my experience and knowledge from my training and practice. I do offer massage, yoga, and yoni steam services for which I am trained in. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.