Your organs & Emotions

In TCM all our emotions are related to an organ! But what does that mean?! 

Have you ever experienced emotional effects on your body? We bet you answered, YES! For example, when you’re sad, sometimes it becomes harder to breathe, when you get angry you feel a kind of distention at your side ribs or you feel something flair up to your head and it gives you a headache or a weird feeling that can even last for several days! What happens when you are excited and happy? Your heartbeat goes up. What if you are scared? You feel that you need to go to the washroom, right?

Every organ has its own emotion. If an organ has some kind of imbalance or problem, it can bring its emotions up to the surface and vice versa, if you are triggered by something to feel an emotion it can cause problems for its related organ. Below you can find the organs and their related emotions.


Let’s talk about the governing organ in our body, the heart which is know to be the king of all of our organs, meaning that all other organs will give their energy to help upkeep the heart. The heart and small intestine are governed by our happiness & joy. We nourish our heart and small intestine energy when when we feel true joy & happiness. When we lack joy in our lives, the heart suffers and that’s when problems kick in (like insomnia for example). On the flip side, overjoy can also show excess scattered heart energy, and can be the cause of severe mental emotional disorders, which also cause problems. So it’s all about the balance.


Kidney is associated with fear. Our kidneys replenish Qi (energy) and kidney illnesses usually arise when we are dealing with fear. It makes our energy levels drop (our kidneys cant hold Qi). Which may affect proper digestion.


The emotion of LIVER is anger. When you are angry, this stagnates the LIVER Qi. One of the primary TCM functions of the LIVER is to smooth the Qi flow. Thus, when the LIVER Qi is stagnated, this can literally wreak havoc on everything else in the body. Oftentimes symptoms of LIVER qi stagnation include inappropriate anger, frustration, and mood swings.


Our lungs are connected to grief and depression. We get a circulation of energy (Qi) from the air we breathe. When we are feeling grief, and it is unresolved, it will cause stagnation (the oxygen getting blocked) in our bodies, causing disturbance in the flow of Qi in our bodies, lung Qi Deficiency and so resulting in depression. This is why it is vital for us to root the reason for our grief and learn how to let go of it.


Too much stress can negatively impact your digestion, as your spleen and stomach become weak. What happens is that WORRY exhausts the spleen’s Qi (energy), greatly reducing its ability to function properly. This often also results in fatigue and lack of concentration.

So if you feel that one of these emissions are dominating in your life and it is effecting you severely, you should seek help from a TCM or acupuncture practitioner to bring back the balance and prevent further problems to the rest of your body. Also in general, it's good to be aware of these relationships between our organs and emotions, so next time you feel something you are better able to understand and help yourself move energy within your body.