Unfortunately, modern medicine takes a very mechanical view of the body and the physiological functions of its organs, but in Greek medicine and other traditional medical systems, the internal organs are seen as being strongly affected by the emotions.
For example, the heart is very sensitive to emotional states. Uplifting emotions like courage, honesty and compassion strengthen the heart, whereas guilt and remorse weaken it. Love and the emotional will to live are also very important to the heart. According to Greek medicine, it is possible to die of a broken heart.
In emotional terms, the lungs work closely with the heart, which means the lungs are sensitive and vulnerable to many of the same emotional states as the heart and will respond similarly. The lungs need a feeling of space within which to function.
The feeling of being smothered can constrict the lungs and cause respiratory problems. Conversely, a feeling of dignity and pride puffs up the chest and allows the lungs to expand and function properly. Negative emotions that sap the will to live are also injurious to the lungs, especially grief and bereavement; many chronic respiratory diseases and conditions develop after a major loss or bereavement.
Without knowing it, many of us hold emotions like anger and resentment in our gut or stomach. If we concentrate hard enough, we can feel the anger there. Stress, tension, worry and anxiety can cause distension, bloating, colic and stomach ache. The colon is also vulnerable to aggravations and chronic or deeply held worry, anxiety, nervous or emotional stress and tension.
Security issues and deep insecurities may also impact negatively on the colon since their functioning is intimately connected with emotional security. Emotional problems may often produce disorders like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Our emotions are not only important to the health of our mind, but in the longer term to the health of the whole body. That may make the difference between life and death.