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When does emotion become a cause of disease – TCM | Twelve Meridian

Topic: When does emotion become a cause of disease-TCM

We are all very concerned about our health and take the best steps not to be affected by any health issues.

Introduction of When does emotion become a cause of disease.

All of us try to control our diet, work out, and take other actions such as visiting a physician regularly etc. We all wish to be in the pink of health.

However, we all tend to ignore one aspect of health that can cause a serious problem if left unattended for a long time.

Yes, you have guessed it right. Mental health plays a significant role in our well-being.

We tend to ignore and overlook the mental part of our health.

Emotional causes result in mental health problems, and we tend to push them to the back of our minds.

But it can develop into severe physical health issues if we do not seek a doctor or a psychologist’s help soon.

Here, we will discuss some emotional issues that cause mental health problems and their consequences from the Ancient Chinese Medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner’s perspective, involving Qi, Yin, etc.

When does emotion become a cause of disease? 

Whereas Western medicine sees emotions as having a secondary or excitatory role on the organs rather than being a primary potential cause of disease,

Chinese medicine sees emotions as an indispensable and inseparable part of the domain of activity of the Internal Organs as direct causes of illness.

In Chinese medicine, the interaction of body and mind is also expressed in the Three’ Treasures,’ namely Essence (Jing)–Qi–Mind (Shen).

Essence is the physical foundation of Qi and Mind, laying the groundwork for a pleasant and stable emotional and mental life.

Origin of the word “emotion” in Chinese medicine.

The Chinese word for ’emotion’ is ‘qing,’ which is taken from the radical for ‘heart.’

 The term ’emotion’ is not a good word to define the Chinese perspective on the ’emotional’ causes of disease.

The term ‘emotion‘ is derived from Latin and refers to ‘e-mover, that is, to ‘move out;

it is used to describe any mental feeling that is distinct from cognitive or self-regulatory states of consciousness.

In this context, the term “emotion” can refer to just about any feeling, such as hope, joy, fear, aversion, desire, surprise, pleasure, pain, and so on; as a result,

it is not entirely appropriate as a term denoting the emotions as comprehended in Chinese Traditional medicine.

Emotions and disease relation 

Emotions are psychological stimuli that have an impact on our practical lives.

They are not a source of illness under normal conditions.

Nobody can avoid feeling angry, sad, resentful, worried, or afraid at some point in their lives,

but these emotions do not lead to dissonance. For example, the death of a relative elicits a natural sense of loss and great sadness. However, this will not cause any disease.

Emotions only become the reasons for disease if they are long-lasting, or become extremely intense, or both of the factors.

When we are in a negative feeling for a very extended period, which might be months or even years, they become the cause of disease.

For example, if somebody makes us feel irritated or frustrated for a long duration of time, this will affect our liver and give rise to strife or conflict among us.

Though at times, in a few cases, emotions can become a cause for any disease within a brief period.

This happens when our feelings are very intense. An excellent example of such a situation is the feeling of shock.

Emotions As Causes of Disease 

Ancient Chinese medicine is only concerned with emotions when they cause disease or exhibit symptoms themselves. Chinese medicines tend to strike a balance when it comes to feeling.

They do not dismiss emotions as disease causes but do not emphasize them to rule out other possible causes.

In Chinese medicine, emotions (intended to be the causes for disease) are mind stimuli that bother/disrupt the Mind, also known as Shen, and the Ethereal Soul, also known as “Hun,” and the Corporeal Soul known as Po.

Emotions shift the balance of the Internal Organs as well as the harmony between Qi and Blood.

As a result, emotional stress is classified as an internal cause of a disease that directly injures or harms the internal organs.

‘Spiritual Axis’ says: ‘Overwhelming joy and anger damage the Yin organs when these are injured the disease is in the Yin.

Impact of Emotions On Organs


When does emotion become a cause of disease - TCM | Twelve Meridian

Grief is the emotions of the lungs & large intestine, which are metal-related organs.

Impairment of any organ can lead to a sensation of being sapped of energy and having trouble bowel function.


When does emotion become a cause of disease - TCM | Twelve Meridian

The emotions of the bladder and kidneys are fear and anxiety, both organs work on water.

When we are in terror, our kidneys fight to keep up with the energy, & we can practically wet our pants.

It’s a familiar adaptive feeling that, if ignored, can develop into a chronic condition. 

When dealing with anxiety, such as a change in life direction or uncertain living arrangements, kidney problems are common.


Worry emotion has an effect on the pancreas/stomach/spleen; they are a network of earth elements.

Too much contemplation, worry, or insecurity can impair our capacity to digest food.


The emotions of the gallbladder and the liver( organs represent wood elements) are anger and rage.

Emotions like fury, or irritation are signs of excess energy, and the liver can get damaged if we undergo these emotions frequently.


When we don’t have enough joy in life, we may feel trapped, cognitively jumbled, and sleepless.

Mania, also known as obsessive happiness, is an emotional and mental disease caused by dispersed heart energy.

Conclusion of when does emotion become a cause of disease-TCM

Thus, we have seen how emotional problems disrupt different parts of the body, damaging our health.

So, now we know that emotional well-being is as important as physical well-being; otherwise, our health will be seriously affected.