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When your body says no

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

I don't think we set out to create ill health. We don't always have control or knowledge of how the decisions we make during our lives may amount to ill health.

In fact, in biomedicine, for example, it would not be conceivable that our emotions might be a cause of disease. So, why would you consider the stress you have been under to potentially be a cause of your ill health?

If you are interested, Gabor Mate has written a brilliant book called The Body Says No which is his clinical insights as a practitioner of observing how ill health can follow stress. I really recommend it as an insightful read.

This blog post today will be examining how acupuncture looks at the cause of disease. This is not about blame. It is about carefully understanding ways in which we can address the possible root cause of your condition.

I hope you have found this useful. As always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Love from Andrea



In Chinese medicine and acupuncture, feelings are not a cause of disease. Feelings are a natural expression of human life and all feelings are valid. It is normal to grieve the loss of a loved one. It is normal to feel fearful when something frightens you.

It is when you live in a permanent state of emotion e.g. for the person who is living with guilt or worry or shock for an excessive, prolonged or suppressed manner then it may eventually lead to disharmony.

An excess of emotion will eventually lead to an effect on a specific organ.

  • Anger (including frustration, resentment, irritability) will affect the Liver

  • An excess of joy e.g. excessive excitement and craving can injure the Heart

  • Worry over everyday activities and always pressed for time weakens the Spleen and Lungs

  • Pensiveness, akin to brooding and constantly thinking about certain events or people will affect the Spleen

  • Sadness and grief, including regret, will affect the Lungs and Heart

  • Fear, including anxiety, will affect the Kidneys

  • Shock will affect the Kidneys and Heart

  • Obsessive 'love' will affect the Heart

  • Hatred, different from anger in that it is cold and calculating, affects the Liver and Heart

  • Craving affects the Heart

  • Guilt injures the Heart and Kidneys


The food we eat

What we eat is well understood when it comes to disease. We know that obesity can increase our chances of getting diabetes or heart disease, for example.

We know that a lack of quality food in deprived areas also sees a prevalence of excess weight.

Obviously, under-eating is just of concern.

In acupuncture our diet can affect us in the following ways:

  • An excess of cold foods injures the Spleen and leads to internal cold

  • Excessive greasy foods can lead to Phlegm or Damp

  • An excess of hot foods can cause internal heat

  • How you eat e.g. eating whilst working, hurriedly eating or eating late at night, or not at all can injure Stomach Qi and Yin

I have written a post about how Chinese nutrition therapy works with the individual and how certain foods can affect certain organs.

It was also interesting to see how diet can now be linked to diseases such as Alzheimer's and again I have written about this here.



We cannot control the genes that are passed to us by our parents. Below is how they may manifest with the Chinese organs:

Weak Spleen constitution

Flaccid muscles along the spine, digestive problems, vomiting, diarrhoea, sallow complexion

Weak Lung constitution

White complexion, fear, shyness, prone to catching colds, asthma, thin chest

Weak Heart constitution

Bluish-tinge on forehead, fear, crying at night

Weak Liver constitution

Myopia or headaches from an early age, tense sinewy body, nocturnal enuresis, restless sleep

Weak Kidney constitution

Nocturnal enuresis, listless or timid, slow development as a baby, atopic eczema and asthma



I decided to include both overwork and excessive sexual activity in this section!

Overwork is in the sense of long hours without breaks or rest, this weakens the Yin of the Kidneys, Liver or Stomach.

Kidney Yin deficiency

  • night sweats

  • scanty urination

  • bad back

  • waking up in the night

  • tinnitus

  • infertility

  • depression

  • anxiety

Liver Yin deficiency

  • dizziness

  • dry eyes

  • numbness or tingling of limbs

  • waking up in the night

  • blurred vision

  • amenorrhoea

  • muscular weakness

  • depression

Stomach Yin deficiency

  • no appetite

  • constipation

  • dull or slightly burning epigastric pain

So you see, you may not consider how you work as a cause of any signs or symptoms you are suffering, but in acupuncture we do.



There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that medicinal drugs and immunizations save many lives.

But anything we put into our bodies affects us. The same is true for medication, recreational drugs and alcohol.

I would never suggest anyone coming off their medication, that is only a conversation for you and your doctor. But it is also important to understand that your signs and symptoms may be a symptom of medication.

Side effects of Fluoxetine



Living in England, it is not hard to imagine how the climate affects me, both mentally and physically.

But if you have pain anywhere in your body can you say whether it is caused by wind, cold, heat or dampness? Is it exacerbated by any of those conditions?

I have pain in my right hip, which is always worse in the Winter and wet weather. It was only after studying Chinese medicine that I realised that the pain had followed after the birth of my first child, where I was in a birthing pool (on and off) for close to 24 hours.

Does your pain move from joint to joint, like the Wind?

Is it a dull ache with swelling, like Dampness?

Is it a severe pain in one joint? Maybe made worse by the cold?

Do you have redness, swelling and a hot area? It might be heat

  • Think about the climate you live in. Is it often wet and cold? Or excessively hot?

  • Where do you work (is there air conditioning)?

  • What is the condition of your housing? Do you have damp or mould?

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