This week I am covering the affects of different emotions on our internal organs. Much of my discussion has been from an oriental medicine viewpoint. As my training is in Oriental Medicine and Asian bodywork, these discussions are timely for the times. I am specifically talking about the Zang Fu organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen, gallbladder, large intestine, small intestine, urinary bladder, and the san jiao (the triple system). So far we have covered anger and the liver, fear and the kidneys, and grief and the lungs. Today’s focus will be on worry with a dash of pensiveness.
I am putting worry and pensiveness together because of their close relationship and similarities. Pensiveness relates to overthinking, studying, excessive mental work, concentration. Pensiveness depletes the Spleen Qi. Being in to “Rona” times, there is not lack of supply for things to worry about. Many people have lost their jobs, and their ability to take care of themselves and their family. Others have died or are fighting for their life. I would imagine that for many who still have their jobs, there is a concern about how long that will last.
Beyond the usual primary needs for security and survival, we are a social species for the most part. Here in San Diego, the public spaces are closed. While I don’t think I would want to go out in any public space, I miss being able to. Since I have had to lock out all access to scheduling a massage, in-person yoga sessions, or yoni steam, I wonder when I will be able to again. This pandemic has definitely got me thinking about how I can adjust to this new way of life. I am sure this is the case for many of you out there as well.
What does worry do?
Worry is the emotion of the spleen and the stomach, organs associated with the earth element. Too much pensiveness, worrying and insecurity can weaken our ability to digest. Lack of trust and ease towards the experiences and the foods we take in to our lives will make it impossible for us to digest them. This can make us feel tired, lethargic, and unable to concentrate: a bit of a paradox, too much mental stimulation can actually cause mental heaviness. A week spleen can also be the cause of stubborn weight problems.
The function of the spleen in the transportation and transformation aspect is impaired. This gives rise to the accumulations of phlegm. The spleen is most likely affected due to irregular meal intake or eating too quickly. It is also affected by too much mental work. When we are anxious, we find it hard to digest and accept a situation or life event. Some symptoms we experience when worry and pensiveness is prolonged in our life include:
- loss of appetite
- abdominal fullness
- loose stools
- raised shoulders
- stiff and shallow breathing
- shortness of breath
We are definitely in times that are worrisome. Take care to exercise regular self care, and to acknowledge how you feel, and the emotions you are experiencing. Take care of how you treat yourself, and what you nourish your body with. You can try eating root vegetables if you find yourself worrying a lot. These include carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnip, squash, chestnuts, fig, taro, liquorice root, ginger root, jujube date, and astragalus root. Try to limit or reduce meats, cold, raw, and all frozen foods, iced drinks, excess refined sugars.
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.