Health is more than the absence of disease; it encompasses all aspects of life that are good and uplifting to you and those around you. Health philosophies around the world have various aspects that all life is part of and derives vitality from elements in our physical universe.
In traditional Asian philosophy there are five elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. In India where all holistic health care is said to have derived, Ayurvedic traditions also has five elements but they are expressed as Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Keeping a balance in all these elements is how we maintain optimal health in the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives.
In Meridian Therapy (a part of the Asian traditions) as I have practiced it for many years, there are two factors in keeping these elements balanced, our environment and our emotions. Because our bodies are essentially a processing plant, we take in air, water and food that our body digests and assimilates the nutrients then eliminates the waste. It does the same thing with the electrical energy (chi) that is produced from the air,
water and food. Our body generates Chi that flows along the Meridian pathways as seen on acupuncture charts and then eventually is eliminated down through the legs and feet and back into the ground to recycle back into the environment. So, as David Caradine learned from his master in the TV series Kung Fu, “you are one with the Universe Grasshopper.”
The two things that throw off these elements have to do with the environment and emotions’, so keeping them in balance is the key. Environmental elements that you have direct control over deals with what you put into and on your body. Some of those things were pointed out in another article dealing with Anti-oxidants and aging. In the remainder of this article let’s take a look at the emotional aspects of balancing these elements and how it can affect our health.
The key emotions that throw the five elements off balance are;
- Grief & Guilt
- Worry & Pensiveness
As with the environmental issues each of these emotional aspects has specific symptoms that arise when they are off balance. That help’s to identify which emotion is the cause for the imbalance you may be experiencing.
Grief & Guilt are associated with the Lung and Large intestine meridian in Traditional Oriental Medicine. The classic symptoms would be Sinus headache and congestion, constipation or diarrhea, upper extremity pain, symptoms of the lower bowel, skin conditions, and head and neck symptoms. Any respiratory symptoms e.g. asthma, emphysema, COPD, bronchitis coughs and colds. Dermatological syndromes e.g. eczema, acne, psoriasis, dry skin.
Worry & Pensiveness are associated with the Spleen meridian dealing with Female and/or male pelvic dysfunction including sexual dysfunction, infertility, hormonal involvement, menopausal/menstrual dysfunction. Blood formation, anemia, hyper/hypo glycemia, pancreatic dysfunction, immune function, lack of energy, gastro-intestinal syndromes, reflux disorders, heaviness in the legs, edema and lower extremity pain.
Anger is associated with the Liver meridian which has symptoms related to muscle spasms, cramps, ligament/tendon dysfunction throughout the body. Fibromyalgia syndrome, any eye symptomatology and vision disorders, neurologic syndromes, allergy and histamine responses, immune system disorders and migraine headaches.
Fear has two meridians associated with it the Kidney and Bladder meridian. Symptoms associated with this emotion are kidney or bladder dysfunctions, renal diseases, symptoms affecting the osseous system osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, lower back pain or general and severe pain, bed wetting, prostate, uterus, ovary disorders, sciatica. Conditions affecting the ears, hearing disorders, vertigo and equilibrium problems. It is associated with coldness in the body and can affect scalp hair.
These lists are not comprehensive but they do give you some idea of the magnitude that our emotions can play on our overall health. For a more comprehensive list of associated symptoms, call or stop by the office and I can provide it for you.
One way to treat these symptoms if an emotional component is present is through the Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT.
It is based on the meridian system and stimulating various acupoints with a finger tapping along a specific sequence. I have used it with a few patients and find validity to what this technique proposes. You can go to the EFT web site and download for free a manual on how it is self administered and even watch some video clips on various conditions that respond to EFT. Try it and have fun experimenting with balancing your emotions to eliminate related symptoms.