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  • Writer's pictureDr Alexandra

How are emotions and digestion related?

The thoughts you think and emotions you feel (and don’t) have an effect on the physical body. In Chinese medicine this connection is fundamental and discussed often. Most commonly with digestive upsets, anger and worry (oh, and of course STRESS) are the main contributing emotions talked about:

😤Anger, which includes frustration and repressed emotions, stagnates the Liver Qi which then fails to control the flow of the Spleen & Stomach Qi. This results in the Stomach Qi failing to descend and rising instead (nausea/vomiting, belching, epigastric pain, reflux), and the Spleen Qi failing to rise and descending instead (diarrhoea). Stress is also another common cause of stagnant Liver Qi.

😰Worry and overthinking knots Qi and affects the Spleen & Stomach directly. It weakens these organs leading to food stagnation, poor appetite and tiredness. Food stagnation can also generate Stomach heat which can result in heartburn.

Stagnant Qi and weak digestive function results in bloating, a heavy sensation in the body, irregular bowel movements, bowel changes, and pain.

It also works both ways- if the organs are imbalanced it can lead to the corresponding emotional disturbance.

Acupuncture and herbs are great here, because they can address both the emotional aspect and the physical 🤍🌱


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