As we discussed in a previous post,traditional Chinese medicine considers emotions to be an essential part of our energy balance. In this way, an excess or absence of emotion can be considered an indication that our energies are unbalanced. If this imbalance is maintained over time, the disease will appear.
The theory of Chinese medicine has its philosophical basis in Taoism. It tells us that the Tao is the beginning of everything and the essence of everything that exists. This Tao is and at the same time emanates the universal energy or vital energy called ki, which unites us with all of existence in a kind of energy network. The energy balance, both internal of the being, and external with its environment is what gives us the state of health. In imbalance appears the disease. This ki develops a polarity, the famous ying yang, a duality that only manifests itself in the material world and does not exist in the original state of the Tao.
The theory of the five elements or movements tells us about different phases or states of energy. There are five and corresponds to Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire. There are different relationships between them, which cause them to affect each other. For example, if the Water element is weak, Fire can develop an excess. The entire Eastern vision, as you see, is based on an observation of nature and its analogy in the human body.
Each element then has some relationships with the environment, it is associated with a season, a color, a climatic factor, certain foods, etc… When we apply it to medicine, specific functions are associated in the human body, energy channels, organs, emotions and symptoms.
Knowing which symptoms are related to each element, and therefore has to do with a specific emotion, can help us recognize what is happening in us. The first step to being able to do something about it. Once located, we have different tools, for example through food, to regain balance.
Do not forget that emotions are not negative or positive in themselves. Each emotion has a function, and if we listen to it in an assertive way, give it the place it needs and do not become attached to it, it will be very useful to us. When emotions can generate negative effects on us, it is when we try to repress them, when we give them too much weight or do not let them go and we are constantly in a specific vibration.
For example, fear is very useful to alert us to a dangerous situation. It makes us generate adrenaline and so we can react. But if we are constantly on alert when there is no real danger to our lives, all those secreted chemicals that are not used accumulate, generating stress and anxiety.
Anger helps us detect when we should set limits because they are invading our space. But if we let ourselves be carried away by it, our relationships may be difficult and we may react in ways that do not bring the best consequences.
Recognizing and managing emotions not only helps us maintain health, it also makes us connect with our true Self. When we get carried away by emotions we tend to react automatically, usually according to patterns learned from family or society. Many times, reflecting afterwards, we would have liked to do something different in a specific situation in which we have allowed ourselves to be carried away by emotion.
Our daily meditation practice will help us to be able to focus our attention and listen to ourselves. Knowledge about emotions and their relationship with the physical body, to identify what we are seeing. Finally, the practice of different techniques such as yoga, acupuncture or shiatsu, or breathing exercises, and introducing conscious eating in our day to day, will make it easier for us to maintain our balance.
When we take time to observe ourselves and understand what is happening in us, we stop reacting, and we begin to act from who we really are. We decide in an authentic way what we want to do and therefore we start to have a greater connection with the events of our lives. Life goes from being something that “happens” to being what we create with each of our decisions and actions. Increasingly aligned with our inner being and therefore generating greater peace and happiness.
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