Monday, May 25, 2020

Oriental Medicine: Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lung & Kidney


– Internal injuries & the seven emotions

In the ancient time of orient, the emotions that human feel were classified into seven. At that time, the seven emotions(joy-喜, anger-怒, melancholy-憂, anxiety-思, grief-悲, fear-恐 and terror-驚) were thought to exist not by knowledge, but by instinct.

However, the notion of the emotions is a little bit different in oriental medicine: joy, anger, gloom, anguish, sorrow, fear, surprise. The actions of these emotions, in the oriental medicine, were also thought to have very close relations with those of five viscera. According to the ‘Sho-Mun’, an old oriental medical book, the five viscera in the human body generate their own type of ‘ki'(joy, anger, anxiety, melancholy, fear).

The seven emotions are the reactions to the stimuli made by all the objective things in the universe. Normal reactions in the normal situation cannot cause any disease.

But, when the abrupt and acute mental stimuli continues for a certain period of time, the system of ‘ki’ falls into disorder and that yin and yang of ‘ki & blood’ loses its balance thereby leading to the disease. The diseases that the change of emotions bring about are mainly internal injuries.

– The seven emotions & ‘ki & blood’ of internal organs

One man’s mental activities and all the physiological movements of internal organs are very closely interrelated. The mental activities of human can proceed well and enough when the circulation of ‘ki & blood’ is normal, body fluid is balanced, and moreover, the internal organs are in good conditions.

According to the ‘Sho-Mun’, five viscera in the human body produce five types of ‘ki’, and the ‘ki’s make five emotions.

More than that, heart symbolizes joy; liver does anger; spleen does anguish; lung does gloom; kidney does fear.

– Heart symbolizes joy

Joy is kind of a reaction to the positive stimuli which is good for the body and soul. ‘Sho-Mun’ says that the feeling of joy makes two sort of ‘ki’ harmonious between one for control(‘yung-ki’) and the other for defense(‘wi-ki’); however, when deficient or excessive, it is rather harmful.

– Liver symbolizes anger

Anger is physiologically a reaction to the negative stimuli; it makes ‘ki-hyul’ in the liver and gall bladder uprising and evacuates ‘yin-ki’ causing the mental status violent. Many old medical documents in the orient support the mechanism among liver, gall bladder and the upsurging of ‘ki & blood’. Gall bladder is attached to the liver and stores its extra ‘ki’.

– Spleen symbolizes anxiety

Anxiety usually refers to deep thoughts. In the ancient orient, the deep thoughts is made from spleen and consummated in the heart. Therefore, excessive anguish badly affects to spleen and heart.

– Lung symbolizes melancholy

Melancholy and other sad feelings are the reactions to the negative stimuli; worry affects mainly to the ‘ki’ in the lung or spleen; sadness to ‘ki’ in the heart. Many old medical documents in the orient also has it that worry means the disorders in lung and spleen, and the ‘ki’ of lung is connected to those of heart and liver.

– Kidney symbolizes fear

Fear and terror have some similar aspects. the difference between them is that the former is the feeling toward, be it ever small or big, the already perceived things or situations; the latter is the feeling toward the abrupt and unexpected those. Therefore, they are also the reactions to the negative stimuli and have some relations with heart, liver, gall bladder and stomach.

An oriental medical book makes clear that there are four types of fear that arises in the viscera; that of kidney, that of liver and gall bladder, that of stomach and that of heart. Other than these, according to the ‘Sho-Mun’, the weakness of ‘ki & blood’ makes people easily astonished or surprised.

To be brief, the seven emotions and ‘ki & blood’ in the internal organs can not be separated. The energy or vitality of internal organs is the basic and fundamental ground for the emotional changes; the reactions to the outer stimuli.

Wang Wei
Wang Wei is a holistic health practitioner in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

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