Chinese medicine addresses emotional and physical concerns to help a patient recover balance. A practitioner searches for information including the symptom and the patient’s other general characteristics — mood, emotions, upbringing, work environment, personal life. A practitioner decides whether to prescribe herbs to treat an emotional or organic problem or to use psychological counseling. Traditionally, Chinese doctors were both medical experts and shamans, dispensing psychological advice along with herbs and acupuncture. After such treatments, the idea is: People adapt their lives accordingly and the organs and mind come into balance.

  • To help practitioners determine emotional imbalances, Chinese medicine links each vital internal organ to a corresponding emotion. The emotion can deplete the energy of the organ, and a depleted organ gives rise to the emotion:
  • When someone has depleted adrenals or low kidney energy, they experience insecurity and fear.
    Depletion of heart energy manifests in a lack of spirit. The heart is depleted by overcelebrating (drinking too much).
  • Depletion of spleen energy (deepest level of metabolic function including pancreas, digestion and assimilation functions) shows up as excessive worry, feelings of nostalgia, dwelling on the past or a “not in the present” behavior.
  • With depletion in lung energy, a person experiences grief, easy tears or sadness.
  • Depletion in liver energy results in anger, frustration or depression.