Can Joy Cause Illness? 

 January 23, 2017

By  Steve Hoffman

If you have been following along, I have been talking about how emotions can cause disease (see my post about how emotions can cause disease HERE). My last post HERE talked about the link between anger and disease and I think that there are some correlations that are easy to see. But joy?? How can joy cause disease? Well, first we are not talking about the joy of having a child or accomplishing a goal or your wedding day. At the extreme, what we are talking about is mania. Mania is joy that is not contained, the person is not able to shut it off. And when you think about it, does a manic person make good decisions. Does a manic person care about how their actions affect others, often, people suffering from mania cannot even talk care of themselves? These types of behavior can result in a variety of disease processes in the body.

Joy is associated with the heart and the fire element in the theory of Five Element Acupuncture in Chinese Medicine. It is an essential emotion for humans to thrive. When this element is balanced in the body, it allows us to give and receive love with appropriate degrees of emotional closeness. It allows us to cope with a wide range of differing relationships. While mania is at the extreme, it lies at one end of a spectrum with many behaviors that can affect not only our day to day lives, but our bodies as well. Being compulsively cheerful versus being miserable; being overly sociable versus being isolated; behaving foolishly versus always acting “correctly”; making oneself too vulnerable versus being over protective; being volatile versus having a flat affect. These are extremes and these extremes can cause real, physical problems in the body. Think about the person who is always cheerful. Do you think it is easy to be that way? This person feels like they always must perform, always has to be “on”, creating a tremendous amount of stress and tension and anxiety that have been shown to cause real health problems. People who isolate themselves and are over protective never develop the social support systems that have been demonstrated to be critical to both emotional and physical health.

We are not meant to live in a “joyous” state continually. I think that is part of the problem with our culture. We are always seeking happiness, when I think what we should be seeking is contentment. You can’t keep a party going 24/7. Eventually, the crash and the hangover set in to balance out the high. We often seek material goods to make us “happy” but that just creates a cycle that never really satisfies. Making love is one of the most joyous things we do but can you imagine trying to sustain that state for a long period of time (sorry Viagra!). Our lives are meant to be balanced and when our emotions are not balanced, we become prone to physical, emotional, and spiritual problems.

Chinese Medicine, at its best, helps balance the body so that it can do what it was meant to do. If any of these issues sound familiar, don’t let another day/week/year go by while you continue to struggle. Those struggles can, and most times will, turn in to physical problems eventually. It is your bodies way of telling you there is something wrong. Listen and get help. You can book a consultation online (see below)  or call us today to discuss your problem and we can let you know what we can do to help.

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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