Chinese Medicine 101 – The connection between emotions and the body.

I incorporate many modalities of health into my life. I believe in trying things that intuitively feel right and improve my quality of life. Because really, the whole point for me is be around the things that improve my life; people, relationships, my career, food, exercise, and my spiritual practice.

I choose to write this as my first blog because I largely based Moonshine's juices around TCM. Its also the purpose of incorporating flower and crystal essences in my juice, because they support emotions.

I do not have specific training in Chinese Medicine (TCM) but I love  what is behind this philosophy of health and well being and have been studying it for years. My brother is also a doctor in TCM. I am always interested in learning how things are connected mind, body, and spirit and I personally believe TCM incorporates this the most. Right down to astrology…. What’s your Chinese animals sign? Look it up and see how it connects to your personality and how you handle situations or relationships in your life.
In TCM the organ systems are connected to emotions which are surrounded by an array of energy meridians that flow through our entire body. Well, this is the hope at least, that the energy is flowing. Certain life traumas, insecurities, worries, ego and perceived notions can interfere with the flow of this Qi (life force) causing blockages which affects our health and well being in many  ways.
The first step is having the awareness of your emotions and how it makes your body feel. Emotions have a direct impact on how our body feels. Let's put it in perspective, you have a meeting to go to that is really important and you have anxiety about it. How does this anxiety translate into the physical aspects of your body? Maybe our chest tightens, your hands sweat, you can’t eat, or you have a nervous stomach. This is the direct physical expression of your emotion.
Second is identifying why the emotions are occurring....the fun part.
And third is to be mindful of what is happening and controlling the impact. Meditation seems to be the most effect way of understanding this but exercise, herbs and diet are critical.
TCM has mapped out times of the day in which the organ is most active. This is important to know because you can connect health  or emotional issues with the organ system and be able to make changes to improve your quality of life. For example, if you wake up consistently at the same time at night and can't get back to sleep or there is a point in the day when you can't concentrate or crave sugar or salt. 
Take a look at the organ systems outlined below and how they control your feelings and emotions. Which one(s) mostly suit your emotions and personality. I am all spleen and a bit of liver as patience might be my life lesson :)
Organ times
Liver- 1-3am Wood Element
Emotions when in disharmony: Anger and impatience, frustration, stubbornness, resentment
Emotions when in harmony: Rarely have stress or tense. People are calm, good decision makers, leaders
Rules the tendons and eyes
Foods: Mung beans, chlorophyll-rich foods, kale, flax, berries. Avoid greasy foods and too much food in general.
Lungs 3-5am Metal Element
Emotions when in disharmony: Grief and depression
Emotions when in harmony: Able to maintain strength, and fight off sickness and disease, know your direction in life and effective in your roles
Rules the skin and hair
Foods: Spices that have heat, onions and garlic, dark green and golden orange vegetables. Avoid all dairy
Large Intestine 5-7am Metal Element 
Same as the Lungs however any digestion or inflammation or bloating could be indications of disharmony. 
Stomach 7-9am Earth Element 
Same as Spleen/pancreas 
Spleen/pancreas 9-11am Earth Element
Emotions when in disharmony: Worry and anxiety. Feelings of being stuck, weak digestion, gain weight easily and typically bloated all the time. 
Emotions when in harmony: Hard working, practical, nurturing creative and responsible 
Rules muscles and distribution of nutrients
Foods: Typically cold food is not the best as the digestive system uses energy to warm food to be processed. Squash, turnip, sweet potato, oats, fennel, onion are all good. Avoid all processed food
Heart/mind 11-1pm Fire Element 
Emotions when in disharmony: Confusion, poor circulation, memory loss, weak spirit (which influences the flow of energy)
Emotions when in harmony: Joy, friendly, humble, problem solvers and solution orientated. 
Rules blood vessels 
Foods: Brown rice and oats, lemons, chamomile tea, Avoid dairy and mucous causing foods
Small Intestine 1-3pm Fire Element 
Same as the Heart/mind 
Bladder 3-5pm Water Element 
Same as kidneys
Kidney 5-7pm Water Element
Emotions when in disharmony: Fear, nervousness and insecurity  
Emotions when in harmony: Joy, friendly, humble, problem solvers and solution orientated. 
Rules reproductive functions and bones. also provide energy and warmth  
Foods: Millet, barley, tofu, watermelon, berries, eggs, walnuts. Avoid cold foods and excessive salt
Heart Governor 7-9pm
Same as the Heart 
Triple Heater 9-11pm
Emotions when in disharmony: Lack of feeling or expressing warmth in relationships and emotional intimacy
Emotions when in harmony: Joy, warm spirited
There is no physical organ system that the triple heater is associated to. Rather it relates to all of the organs and controls relationships between them largely through the endocrine glands and hormonal distribution systems. It is the heating system of the body/mind/spirit.
Foods: Beans, chlorophyll-rich foods, kale, flax, berries. Avoid greasy foods..
Gall bladder 11pm-1am Wood Element 
Same as the Liver 
Written by Corina Crysler
Reference: Healing with Whole Foods