How are Emotions Stored in the Physical Body?

How are Emotions Stored in the Physical Body?

How can we measure emotional toll on the body? Two of my favourite books; When the Body Says No, and The Body Keeps the Score, explore how our emotions affect our physical bodies. 

Our emotions have to go somewhere and there are significant patterns of where certain emotions coagulate. Dr. Gabor Mate groups certain diseases into emotional characteristics. I find this incredibly interesting being someone with a previous Crohn’s Disease diagnosis. He states that people with autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s, lack healthy boundaries, which used to be very true for me. He explains that people who are people pleasers at the cost of their own happiness energetically teach their bodies to physically blur boundaries – hence the self attacking self in autoimmune diseases. 

I wanted to write today about some ways that we can support our organs and bodies to better house emotions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine each organ governs an emotion. I want to highlight 3 and how we can better support those.

1. The Liver houses Anger and Frustration

If you are someone that struggles with keeping your cool, your liver is probably being affected. Anger and frustration can also be tied to certain times of the month for menstruating folks where the liver is overburdened with hormone surges. 

Ways that we can support our livers: 

  • Castor Oil Packs over the liver; this helps the detoxification process. 
  • Acupuncture; this helps remove stagnation and helps the liver receive blood and Qi
  • Use herbs that improve the liver’s function like Milk Thistle, Globe Artichoke and Dandelion (can be in supplement, tea or powder form)

2. The Lungs house Grief

This is an interesting area for all of us right now as most experienced grief with the pandemic in the loss of our former “normal” lives and this is where COVID seems to have the longest lasting symptoms – in the lungs. I believe that this is an area of importance for us to heal right now and ways to support are:

  • Box breathing – 4 counts for the inhale, hold for 4 counts, 4 counts for the exhale and hold for 4 counts. This helps slow the breathing and increase breath capacity.
  • Cold plunges – this can be in an actual body of water or your shower. The cold increase blood flow and perfusion to the organs.
  • Use herbs that support the lungs’ function like Quercetin, Grape Seed and Corylus

3. The Kidneys house Fear

This can be a common area affected for worriers and can show in the form of kidney stones, UTIs, urinary issues etc. Here are some ways to support;

  • Meditation – this is so powerful for worriers that live in the future to be brought back to the present. Even just 10 minutes per day can drastically decrease worrying.
  • Look into treating anxiety if you are a big worrier. Supplements to manage cortisol can really help.
  • Use herbs that support the Kidneys and urinary tract like Cranberry, Uva Ursi, Zea Mays

I hope this helps us be more conscious of how our mental state truly affects our physical state. For most of us mental health and wellbeing is a journey and needs to be taken good care of. Feel free to book in if you feel that you could use support, we are here for you!

Be well,

Dr. Kate