Anger: The Emotion Of SpringJan 27, 2021
Each season has an emotion associated with it. The emotion helps to energize the qualities of movement and direction that that season engages in. Mind body connection is beautifully illustrated through understanding the basic emotions and their roles and influences in the body. Each emotion has an organ system that processes it and tissues that typically store them. The emotions all impact the body’s substances supporting physiological harmony and processes in the body’s day to day function. There is a poetic, natural order to this process as taught in Taoist philosophy and we can get a deep understanding through Chinese Medicine about the natural and dysfunctional roles of emotions in our health and psychological growth.
Emotional states can be cultivated and experienced in a natural, balanced expression providing us with connection to their positive qualities, while supporting movement in the body and growth in the spirit. This activates learning and leads to maturation. The quality of our emotional health directly relates to the richness of our experience. Through our intellectual and creative pursuits, and the deeper intimacy of sharing our emotions in relationship, we grow. Emotions can be expressed as pathological where their energetics get blocked and create disruptions in our system. These blockages have a dynamic relationship to the underpinnings of disease. This disruption can happen as a result of trauma and learned or inherited conditioning centered around our expression and experiences in life.
Anger is the force of energy that gives the potential within the seed its capacity to break through the shell and grow towards the sun’s light. It’s the directional energy that puts things into action. Natural, expressed anger helps us move. You can see the relationship of anger to the wood element through its connection to the musculoskeletal system. Wood element rules the ligaments and tendons and our flexibility. It is the quality of beginning expansion and direction energies that initiate movement through these tissues. When we move with purpose (wood yang) from a properly designed container (wood yin), it gives rise to freedom of expression and ease in walking our path.
The expanding qi that is surfacing in the spring season works to initiate movement and direction throughout gross physical movement patterns. The liver rules the movement of qi. The ligaments and tendons give a physical structure and flexibility to the body which determines the quality of its movement. Anger also gives direction connecting to our purpose, helping us to tap into vision and know where we’re going and what actions to takeThere’s another important aspect of anger’s energy that is crucial to understand for emotional health. This aspect has to do with our boundaries being violated. When people go against our path, or challenge or block our path holding us back, we can become frustrated or angry as well. It is important to utilize communication to help support the processing of this emotion so that you can use it to create change and/or remove blocks and open to living with kindness towards yourself and others.
In its excessive state, liver anger can become explosive and have damaging impacts on the environment around us through angry actions or aggressive tones of communication. We can easily attempt to violate or control others with our anger when we get too set in our ways or become inflexible or inconsiderate. Emotions, when in excess, can impede our spirits’ evolution and steal valuable energy reserves from our body’s systems intended to fuel and feed the body.
Bioenergetically, the emotions help us to mature through interrelationship with the world and they can help us open up to the creative process in a harmonic way. The proper expression of emotions in the right timing of action and movement set the tone for day to day growth and development psychologically and physically.
Emotions move the substances within the body. I like to think of breaking down the word emotion to (E) energy, in motion, E-Motion. The bodily substances influenced by emotion include blood, qi, essence, spirit, and the fluids required for day to day function and repair. Anger has a close relationship to the movement of the blood and qi, tapping into these vital substances and organizing the way the body utilizes them.
When anger is excessive in the body, it can lead to the qi of the liver rising up towards the head creating hot headed tempers that can lead to explosive behavior or pressure in
the upper region of the body. This upward energy in the head can lead to headaches and tension as well as pain in this region.
Anger that is stagnated or not processed can show up in the body as blood stagnation or qi stagnation, which will increase pain in the body and impart sluggish movement energetically and physically.
Over and over through many years of clinical study, I’ve seen the manifestation of unactualized potential and frustration setting in the underpinning of blood and qi stagnation of the liver. This long term disconnection from purpose and the inability to move towards our purpose can have devastating impacts on health. We can think of the vehicle of the body as the one container that we have to express the self while on this earthly plane; a gift to house the uniqueness and fullness of our spirit. When we set up the fuel system to run that container, we program our blood, qi and essence to fuel the vehicle.
Our purpose is like the guiding system or map towards the fulfillment of our journey. How we spend the energy of the body and experience the fulfilling of our own unique destiny has a direct relationship to health. When we don’t have a guiding system or are disconnected from purpose our fuel gets used up on lives that are unfulfillng and unsatisfying. This can have varying patterns of chaotic impact on the body; from pain syndromes to infertility to hormonal issues to metabolic dysfunction.
Mind body medicine is a powerful way to tap into your body’s unique adaptations and discover where you have been disconnected from your path and how you can recalibrate the inner alchemy and substance of your body to set up conditions for health.
Mastering your emotions and learning about how they impact the body’s systems is a great first step toward discovering how your body and spirit work together. It’s important that we have a framework to tap into the great power of this directional anger energy this spring season and learn to mature and grow with its potential, so we can utilize it for actualization and fulfillment in our lives.
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