Timeless healing with Chinese medicine

Chinese medicine associates each organ with an emotional spectrum. To restore balance in the body, an organ or system is treated along with the predominant emotion linked to it.

by Ada Porat — 

There is a world of difference in the approaches to healing found in Western allopathic medicine and in traditional Chinese medicine. In the Western world, physicians are trained to separate mental, physical and emotional symptoms when addressing the root cause of an illness. In contrast, Chinese medicine views the patient as a whole, with all aspects interrelated.

Each approach has a time and a place; often, the best approach is a combination. Numerous medical studies in the West have shown the correlation between emotional health and physical ailments, such as heart disease, cancer and autoimmune disorders.

In Chinese medicine, feeling any emotion intensely is considered an imbalance. When there is balance among mind, body and spirit, every experience is processed in a natural, fluid way. This allows one to experience the full range of emotions without getting stuck in any one area. Stuck emotions block energy flow and can lead to illness.

Chinese medicine associates each organ with an emotional spectrum. To restore balance in the body, an organ or system is treated along with the predominant emotion linked to it.

For example, the kidneys are associated with strength and willpower and, on the negative end of the spectrum, with fear. The lungs and respiratory system are connected to our sense of order and store emotions, ranging from perfectionism at one extreme, to grief at the opposite end.

The liver supports planning and decision-making — skills needed to manage life well. At the far end of the spectrum, the liver also stores feelings of anger. The heart represents the center of body and soul; emotions associated with this organ range from sadness to joy. The stomach stores emotions, ranging from sympathy to worry.

These emotional/physical ties are not quite as simplistic as presented here. In practice, Chinese medicine takes into consideration a number of other interrelated factors that assist in identifying areas of imbalance and restoring balance to all levels of being.

At its core, traditional Chinese medicine holds that all disease indicates a need for change in one of three basic areas of life — physical, emotional or lifestyle. When we resist this need or do not know how to make the necessary change, it sets up conflict that expresses as disease symptoms.

Chinese medicine teaches that all of life offers lessons we need to learn. By facing the issues life brings our way and being willing to address them, we can eliminate energy drains and blockages.

This comprehensive approach offers many valuable guidelines to promote health and well-being in body, mind and spirit. By integrating a few of the concepts offered below, you will be rewarded with more balance and better health in your life.

Live in harmony with the seasons. The winter months are valuable for rest and rejuvenation; in the spring, we ramp up activity. Summer is an appropriate time to expand and expend energy, while during the fall, we benefit by slowing down, evaluating and retreating from excess activity.

Follow the light. Before the invention of electricity, people got up at sunrise and went to bed soon after sunset. This instinct to follow light is a good one — it has been shown to increase longevity and protect health. Early morning exercise can increase cellular oxygen and boost the metabolism all day long. By evening, it is helpful to switch to relaxing activities that allow one to unwind and prepare the body for sleep.

When illness sets in, respect your body and mind — take time off to heal. Instead of popping medication at the first onset of a cold, for instance, it is a good idea to tough it out (within reason, of course). Let the cough and congestion run its course naturally, so that your body can rid itself of pathogens and toxins. Use natural substances such as water, whole fresh foods and spices, which are strengthening and provide the resources required for recovery.

Recognize that disease may be happening for a reason. Illness may be an indication of working or playing too hard, or lack of proper self-care. View your symptoms as a wake-up call to review behavioral or lifestyle patterns, and make the necessary adjustments to restore balance.

Remember, true healing always involves increasing awareness. Illness is an opportunity to evaluate your internal state. Medication may sedate painful symptoms, but true healing requires you to evaluate the choices that brought you to your current situation, so that you can make different choices. Are you heartsick about something, suffering from anxiety or feeling stuck in a work or relationship situation? When you identify the issues that are creating toxicity in your life, you can make healthier choices to help you heal in every way.

Use daily reflection as a conscious tool for balancing your energy. Think about what things are truly important to you and how you are using your energy to work toward those goals. Differentiate between essential needs and things that do not really matter. This process will free up your time and energy so that you can focus on what truly counts.


Ada Porat is an energy kinesiologist and life coach. She uses an integrative body/mind/spirit approach to help people find meaning in their lives. 602-283-4628 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2010.

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