Perhaps the most profound aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM’s) perspective on overweight conditions is its perception of the role emotions play in overall health. Because your body, mind, emotions, and spirit are an interrelated whole, you must have emotional balance in order to achieve true physical health. This key component is absent from many diet plans. Looking at the digestive process alone is not as simple as the foods you eat. It includes ingestion, absorption, and letting go of food, drink, and emotion, as well as everything else you take in with your five senses and ask your body to process—what you read in books, watch on t.v., say and hear in conversations, and interact with in your everyday environment.

In TCM theory, each of the five organ pairs has a corresponding emotion. For instance, anger and stress are related to the Liver and Gallbladder. Interestingly, many overweight people also struggle with some form of Liver dysfunction, whether high cholesterol, or the inability to process fats. Could stress be the culprit here?

Chronically held emotions act like internal pathogens, destabilizing the functions of your organs.  If you hold onto an emotion, it will stay “undigested” or stagnant in your system. This affects how Qi flows through the related meridians and organs, compromising their function. Stress plays a large part in overweight conditions. Unrelenting stress creates a negative vibration that impairs Liver function. Because the Liver controls the digestive process (which involves the Spleen/Stomach organ pair), its dysfunction can disturb healthy digestion. 

Bottom line, do not blame only the food for weight gain. Look at your entire life—who you are, where you are, and what you are. Is your life balanced? Do you force your body to down cold juices, do you over-use your energy by burning fat at the gym, do you continually work long hours with little or no down time, are you frustrated, angry, worried, or sad?

All of these elements need to be taken into account when trying to lose weight. Your body is the mirror of your life. Where is it off balance? Try to find the balance. Slowly let go of the heavy weights that you carry with you and find productive ways to express your thoughts and emotions.

If you’d like to learn more about organ and emotion relationships, click here.

Mind, Body, Spirit, TCM

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