There are traditionally seven broad emotions in Chinese medicine: Joy, Sadness/Grief, Pensiveness/Worry, Fear, Anger, Shock, and Fright.

In Chinese medicine the emotions are neither "good" nor "bad", they simply are part of being human and alive. There are good reasons to feel fear at times, to be angry, to worry, to feel joy, to feel grief and sadness. These feelings are indicators of our personal and collective relationship with the world and ourselves. In optimal health, our emotions flow freely, are acknowledged, responded to appropriately, and then we move on to the next "feeling". Disharmony and illness only arise when we become "stuck" in our emotions, try to ignore or suppress them. In my clinical practice many clients have come to attribute these "stuck" emotional issues as the primary cause of many diseases, including digestive, respiratory and sexual disorders, colitis/IBS, migraines, hypertension, skin disorders, depression and anxiety. These disorders do need to be addressed at a physical level, but until the underlying emotional issues are resolved/released we do not seem to be able to fully heal.

For a more detailed discussion of the Emotions, see the Causes of Disease Theory.


Calvin Dale Smith, BA, MSc, R-TCMP, R-Ac
Registered Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioner
Riverside Acupuncture and Wellness Centre
2211 Riverside Dr., Suite 106
Ottawa, ON K1H 7X5