Internal Impairment Due to the Seven Emotions

The seven emotions are Joy, Anger, Worry, Anxiety, Grief, Fear, and Fright. They are psychological responses to surrounding stimuli and, in the usual situations, are normal and healthy. Sudden, extreme, prolonged emotions exceed normal physiological stamina, upset Qi activities, and disturb the balance of the Yin, Yang, Qi, and Blood of the Zang-Fu. The seven emotions that directly affect the Zang-Fu, Qi, and Blood are the main reason for internal impairment.

The seven emotions are psychological responses of the Yin, Yang, Qi, and Blood of the Zang-Fu. Different Zang-Fu organs have different responses. Huangdi Neijing relates the five Zang-Fu to five emotions. The Heart rules Joy, the Liver rules Anger, the Spleen rules Anxiety, the Lung rules Grief, and the Kidney rules Fear. (Fright is similar to Fear. Worry is similar to Anxiety.)

The above relationship between the Zang-Fu organs and the seven emotions is not absolute. All psychological responses originate from the Heart, which overrules all seven emotions. Also, one Zang-Fu can have more than one emotion; for example:

  • Filled Liver-Qi is related to Anger but insufficient Liver-Qi is related to Fear.
  • Filled Heart-Qi is related to Joy but insufficient Heart-Qi is related to Grief.

The seven emotions affect the activities of Qi in the following manner:

Joy slows down Qi Grief exhausts Qi Anxiety stagnates Qi
Anger rouses Qi Fear drops Qi Fright disturbs Qi
Worry depresses Qi


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