Welcome back to our series regarding emotions and how they can affect different organs. This theory is derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The word imbalance or disharmony is used in TCM rather than disease or ailment. According to TCM, the emotions can either be the cause or the result of the imbalance. In TCM, Qi (pronounced chee) is the central underlying principle. Qi translates as “air” and figuratively as “material energy”, “life force”, or “energy flow”. When the body has sufficient Qi flowing, it is in it’s desired and healthful state. Imbalance or disharmony can occur when we experience blocked energy or stagnant Qi. This week we will take a look at the emotions grief/sadness and how they correlate to the lungs.
Grief and the Lungs
The lungs are the source of all Qi/life force energy. Each breath you take supplies the body and organs with Qi it needs to operate at it’s best. In TCM, the lungs are related to the emotions grief and sorrow. During tough times of experiencing great sorrow, perhaps from loss, we tend to take short/shallow breaths. This begins to diminish the supply or oxygen or Qi in the body. We might experience lung imbalances such as asthma, coughing, and/or pneumonia when this emotion is repressed and not expressed. The large intestines is also tied to the lungs and grief.
The large intestines is responsible for absorbing the water and electrolytes from the waste/food, producing and absorbing vitamins, and forming and propelling feces toward the rectum for elimination. Also, the lungs supply the kidneys with Qi (the kidneys keep a reserve of Qi for other organs in need). You can imagine how repressed grief or sadness can really cause havoc in the WHOLE system. Perhaps this is why grief, loss, sorrow, depression, and sadness show up as different imbalances in the body. Having any of these emotions without a distinct reason can also indicate that the lungs, large intestines, or kidneys can be out of balance and need to be tended to.
Foods to Strengthen the Qi of the Lungs
- Pungent White Foods
- Horseradish Root
- White Radish
Physical Support for the Lungs
Breathing exercises are the best for the lungs! Long deep breaths through the nose help ground the body and release grief from the system. Make this as simple as you’d like or as complex as you’d like. The idea is that you are being mindful of your breath and you are allowing the release of emotion from your body. Incorporate deep sighs through the mouth when you release the breath. This is extremely effective for releasing stagnant energy in the body.
Also, getting a massage or acupuncture treatment can be an effective way of assisting the body to release grief or sorrow.
Supplements to Strengthen Lungs
Ridgecrest Herbals ClearLungs: This Chinese herbal formula helps clear the lungs and support the entire respiratory system. It is great for allergy season or just to help support the lungs in general. When you breathe better the WHOLE body benefits! Breathe in the happiness!
Heritage Products Black Seed Oil: Black Seed oil was said to “…cure everything but death” in the Quran (Islam sacred text). It can help yield a wide range of benefits like lung support, immune support, hair/skin/nails support, and possibly grief. If you support your physical body, you can help the emotional body.
Now Cheer Up Buttercup! Essential Oil: This essential oil has a bright and shiny sent with woodsy and citrus notes. The smell is enough the lighten a burdened soul. Essential Oils are a great way to support the emotions as well as lungs!
EXPRESS and not REPRESS
The counter active emotion for grief and/or sorrow is joy. How do you work through these troubling emotions like grief and sorrow or the feeling of deep loss? How do you get the feeling of joy back in your life? Well, it’s a process. First off, get to the place where you feel safe to EXPRESS the feelings of grief and sadness. Start by expressing your emotions by writing them (uncensored) in a journal. Then establish a few trustworthy people that you can externally express your emotions with. Create a safe place to express these emotions is key. Why? Because grief, sadness, depression and sorrow can be hard for others to fully understand. They may have a hard time supporting you in this process. Openly sharing how you feel with everyone may cause excess frustration on both ends. Slowly begin to bring joy back into your life when you feel safe about expressing these feelings.
Start a gratitude practice to help you feel more joy. Think of things that make you feel grateful– you can even make a list. Do it in the morning right when you awake or at any moment you are starting to feel burdened with grief. You can really help support the lungs by eating a whole food diet along with taking supplements! We hope you have learned valuable information on the emotions grief/sadness and how they correlate to the lungs.
As always, do what you feel is best for YOUR body — if you aren’t sure, ask your doctor. We are health ENTHUSIASTS not licensed practitioners.