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The Impact of Emotions on Health

The Five Elements Theory

By Amanda Beckner, CN, HHP, PhD
Letting go of stored emotions can help create a healthier, more balanced life.

Let’s face it, we are all spiritual beings, and as we go through life we store emotions, worries, stress and trauma on a subconscious level. It is called our cellular memory, the very genetic blueprint that our consciousness draws on for “deep memories” which play a significant role in determining the state of our wellness.

Vulnerability to disease manifests in the human body when an individual resists feeling an emotion. Any refusal to accept responsibility for an experience is resistance. For example, when you blame God, your family, the universe, you give up your power; by assuming full responsibility for your life, you can fix anything. The idea of being responsible for creating your own illness – or wellness – allows you to take back that power to change the outcome.

This is a Chinese philosophical theory called the Five Elements which can be traced back 4000 years. It was used as a diagnostic and treatment modality that associates specific emotions to various organs and glands in the body. Each of the five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – has a corresponding season, taste, color, odor, sound, physical, and emotional symptom along with other distinct correlations. The elements are kept under control by two basic forces: creation and discretion.

The theory states that key emotions stored within us need to be addressed and removed from the body. A chain reaction of unraveling basic emotions begins (some in our conscious mind; some in our unconscious) and helps answer the question, “How did I develop this disease?” Bringing awareness to a conscious level enables you to work on removing the emotion, allowing the body to heal.

The wood element represents our gall bladder and liver, and the emotions tied to these organs are resentment and anger. So if you hold onto resentment, that emotion will be held within the gall bladder, creating disease until that emotion is removed. If you hold onto anger, it can greatly affect the liver.

The water element represents our kidney and bladder, and the emotions tied to these organs are fear and irritation. Ask yourself, “What am I fearful or worried about?” or “Why am I so anxious and upset today?” Your body is very good at revealing the source, if you ask.

The metal element represents our lungs and large intestine. The emotions tied to these organs are grief and being stuck or unable to move forward in life. A lot of my clients with lung issues – from breathing to cancer – can usually relate back to an issue of grief onto which they still hold.

The earth element represents our spleen, pancreas and stomach. The emotions tied to these organs are low self-esteem and the feeling of disgust which can be within ourselves or directed at another.

The fire element represents our small intestine, heart, thyroid and adrenal glands, and the endocrine system. The emotions tied to these organs are vulnerability, excessive shock or joy, confusion and unresponsiveness. Maybe there has been a sudden death of a family member or close friend, and you don’t know how to feel; it then becomes an unprocessed emotion that keeps recycling until it is removed.

All these emotions can be devastating to our system, especially if they are not addressed and buried. At some point they will resurface. Some people find it helpful to journal emotions; some may meet with a therapist. Others may release emotions through Neuro Physical Reprogramming (NPR) which directly addresses cellular memory.

Remember, we are not only what we eat, but also what we experience. How we deal with disease has a direct impact on how well our body will release and heal.

Dr. Beckner is owner of Your Body Code in Palm Desert which offers personalized nutrition and wellness programs. For more information, visit www.yourbodycode.com or call 760-341-BODY (2639).

Sources: 1) Inna Segal: The Secret Language of Your Body; foreword by Bernie S. Siegel M.D. 2007. 2) Theresa Dale, PhD., N.D: Transform Your Emotional DNA (1995,1996,1997) 3) Dr. Amanda Beckner CN, HHP, PhD.: Your Body Code (2009).

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