Natural Health and Healing Therapy

How Fear Affects Health According To TCM?

Fear primarily resonates with the Water Element, but the Heart and the other Organs of the Fire Element also often suffer when fear grips a person. Fear as a cause of disease can range from low-grade anxiety to abject terror. Fear is predominantly a state of agitation about the future. People dread the prospect of suffering and it drives some people to compulsively dwell on disturbing situations that may or may not arise. This is usually an attempt to 'think through', and therefore be prepared, for all possible scenarios. The truth is that, 'Those who fear suffering are already suffering from what they fear'.

When people are afraid they usually attempt to reassure themselves by telling themselves that there is no point in feeling fearful. For example they tell themselves that statistics show that air travel is relatively safe or that if World War III is going to start there certainly isn't much they can do about it, etc. It is the strength of the person's zhi, their will, allied to the 'virtue' associated with the Water Element, wisdom, that largely determines whether fear becomes excessive or not. As a Japanese proverb puts it, 'Every little yielding to anxiety is a step away from the natural heart of man.'

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