The ancient practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is rooted in the understanding that a problem with the eyes, bones, teeth, ears, stomach—or any other body part—stems from a much deeper energetic issue.
If a person were experiencing broken bones, low bone density, or even tooth decay, the practitioner may begin by treating the person’s Kidney. You may say the bones/teeth and the Kidney are two completely different systems with entirely different functions, and from a physical perspective, you’d be right. But when viewed from an energetic perspective, the body takes on a totally different form—it becomes a treasure map of sorts to understand the body’s invisible energetic imbalances.
Everything in the body is connected. Physical symptoms are simply messages from the body that something is energetically off balance. A problem with the bones or teeth cues us in to see that the energetic function of the Kidney is off-balance. Likewise, dry, cracked skin and constipation are the body’s way of notifying us that the Lung and Large Intestine need an energetic boost.
So, once we decipher these messages, how do we help? The first step is a true understanding that the body is an energy being and that everything in the body is connected. Next, we look to see where the body’s energy is lacking. Check the table below to understand some physical symptoms and their energetic counterparts. Then read more about each of the organ systems here.
Physical Symptoms and Energetic Counterparts
|Organ System||Associated Physical & Emotional Symptoms|
|Liver/Gall Bladder||Eye symptoms, tendon problems, lack of flexibility, cold fingers and toes, acid reflux, migraine headaches, stroke, spring allergies
emotions: stress, irritability, anger
|Kidney/Urinary Bladder||Bone and teeth issues, ear problems, baldness, peeling or cracking nails
emotions: fear, panic attacks
|Stomach/Spleen||Muscle issues, bleeding gums, bad breath, digestive issues
emotions: worry, anxiety, overthinking
|Lung/Large Intestine||Nose problems, fall allergies, dry, itchy, or cracked skin, dull hair, constipation
emotions: sadness, grief, inability to “let go”
|Heart/Small Intestine||Tongue issues, pale or red complexion, difficulty sleeping, excess perspiration
emotions: stress, lack of self-expression and creativity
Boost the Body’s Qi
Reading this chart does not indicate that your physical organ has a problem. Rather it cues us in to understand that the energy feeding that organ system is trapped or low. So how do you boost the body’s energy, or Qi?
- Build your Qi through an energy practice called Qigong. Our Dragon’s Way Qigong® program will teach you ten movements for overall wellness. The most powerful movement in that program is The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth. Stand in this silent meditation for as long as possible, at least once per day.
- Adjust your diet to eliminate heavy, processed foods and introduce healing foods. Heavy foods like meats and dairy take a lot of energy, or Qi, to process and digest. Instead of using your precious Qi to digest food, save it for healing! Certain foods and tastes relate to each organ system. For example, sour and green foods support the Liver, salty and black foods boost the Kidney, sweet and yellow foods benefit the Stomach, spicy and white foods help the Lung, and bitter and red foods are good for the Heart.
- Look at your lifestyle. How do you zap Qi throughout your day? Do you feel stressed at work or at home? Are you running from one activity to the next? Do you know how to say “no” when you’ve taken on too much? Make minor lifestyle shifts to slowly change your daily habits.
Great article! I’ve never really understood TCM, and you explain it in ways that make it easy to understand. I think Western medicine could benefit so much by incorporating an understanding of body energies, and seeing health problems as clues to deeper issues, not simply the only problem in and of itself. Thanks for posting!
Your body is your loyal friend. The more closely you understand the messages the easier life will be. It’s like living in a magical kingdom. Consider reading the Dragon’s Way book for deeper studies.