How Do Emotions Cause Disease? How Acupuncture Can Help? 

 January 3, 2017

By  Steve Hoffman

Wait, emotions can cause disease? Aren’t they just “in your head”, how can that possibly cause a person to get sick. In Chinese medicine, there are only a few causes of disease. External pathogenic factors (basically bugs, viruses, and bacteria etc. although the ancient Chinese healers did not really know that it was bugs); environmental factors (cold, heat, dampness etc.) that can affect the body; trauma; constitutional factors (basically genetics) that can cause problems from birth or make one susceptible to a variety of diseases; and finally, emotions. Here in the west, we are slowly awakening to the fact that emotions can cause or make us more susceptible to diseases. Studies have shown that people who are angry are more prone to high blood pressure. Stress (which is a partner in crime with anger in Chinese medicine) can cause a whole host of problems from metabolism to heart disease to headaches and even anxiety and depression. We are finally waking up to these facts and that we should try to find ways reduce or better process the stress we are under. But what about other emotions. Grief, joy, worry and fear. Can these emotions cause disease as well? In Chinese medicine, they sure can and the great thing is that we can treat the emotions with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. 

In the large majority of cases that I see, emotions are involved in some way in almost any pathology. Emotions can make one more susceptible to external pathogenic factors (stress runs down your immune system). If you are no at 100%, you are more likely to be affected by environmental factors. Your emotions can even make you more prone to problems from constitutional or genetic deficiencies. So, how can joy make you sick? We are not talking about the joy of having a child born or celebrating an event or accomplishment. What we are really talking about is mania. How good are the decisions that a manic person makes? How well do you think they take care of themselves? How much stress does it put on their body. And when the flip side of mania inevitably kicks in, the result is severe depression. I think it is easy to see how this can cause very real health problems. How about grief? Grieving over the loss of a loved one or even a relationship is essential to the process of really dealing with and moving on from the loss. But when we become stuck and cannot see a way to move forward, that is when things like depression set in and this can have a tangible effect on the body. When we become stuck in worry and fear they can have similar deleterious effects on our health. Over the coming weeks, I am going to go through each of these emotions in detail and demonstrate how they can affect out house and how acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine can help. 

Hey, the ancient Chinese healers were right about anger and stress, could it be that they are right about the other emotions as well?? Based on what I have seen in my clinic and what thousands of other acupuncturists have encountered, the answer is a resounding yes! If you read my most recent blog COST OF DEPRESSION, you know the staggering financial and social costs of depression and other emotional problems. Acupuncture & Chinese medicine can help. Call or book online for a 1/2-hour consultation and we can tell you how.

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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