by Alex Pietrowski, Staff Waking Times
We often hear of the problems associated with widespread illnesses and mental health issues like depression and anxiety, but spend a single day out in the big city or some time in rush hour traffic and it quickly becomes apparent we are also in the midst of an epidemic of irritability, frustration and anger. Some argue that mass shootings and other extreme acts of violence are not as ideologically driven as we like to believe, but instead are symptoms of a cultural inability to understand, process and escape from anger.
Strong emotions such as anger can be clues that help detect physical illnesses before they fully manifest as serious problems. Anger has long since been linked to the health of the liver and the other organs in the biliary system, which cleans toxins from the blood and aids for breaking down fats in digestion.
If the liver is not functioning properly, or the biliary system is clogged or obstructed, then this can first be recognized in a patient’s behavior as irrational anger, fits of rage, and chronic frustration and irritation.
The Role of the Liver in Maintaining Vitality
Located on the right side of the abdominal cavity above the stomach, the liver sits just below the diaphragm at the bottom of the rib cage. Working with the gallbladder to produce bile, the gnarly green-yellowish fluid consisting of waste products, cholesterol, and bile salts, the liver is also looked at as a warehouse of sorts, controlling the flow of blood to the heart.
The liver and associated organs are extremely important to overall vitality and metabolism, and when they’re over-taxed or have become stagnant, the body and mind show it in many ways. Signs may include:
- Higher than normal levels of anger, irritability, frustration
- Problems with eyesight
- Skin problems such as rashes and itching
Ancient Wisdom for Peaceful Living
In the past, traditional cultures have had a completely different approach to diagnosing health, often reading emotional cues as clues to how the physical body was performing. If a person showed signs of being imbalance in favor of one emotion out of the entire human range of emotions, then a closer look at physical was required. People didn’t used to have to depend on the onset of pain before knowing that their health needed to be addressed.
“The liver is associated with wood. It stores the blood and is the home of the hun spirits. Among the seven human emotions, only anger is of an intense nature. It dries up the blood and dissipates the hun spirits. The person who understands the way of nourishing the liver, therefore, never throws fits of anger.” ~From Zhang Huang, A Compendium of Illustrated Texts (Tushu Bian), Ming Dynasty
Even the English language acknowledges the connection between anger and the detoxifying function of the liver which turns toxicity into bile which is then ejected from the body by the excretory system. Consider the dictionary definition of the word ‘bile:’
- 1.a bitter greenish-brown alkaline fluid that aids digestion and is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
- 2.anger; irritability.“that topic is sure to stir up plenty of bile”
As human consciousness operates on a continuum, moving between the high-end where peace and harmony reside, and at the lower end of the spectrum where negative emotions are found, anger is representative of the lower vibrational modes, which, according to Chinese medicine is one of the 7 emotions.
“Anger, as described by TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), covers the full range of associated emotions including resentment, irritability, and frustration. An excess of rich blood makes one prone to anger. Anger will thus affect the liver, resulting in stagnation of liver qi (vital energy). This can lead to liver energy rising to the head, resulting in headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms.” [Source]
The theory of a connection between liver health and the feelings of anger, frustration and rage has been well-documented for many generations in the sciences of TCM as well as Ayurvedic medicine, referring to blockages in the detox systems of the body as a wood deficiency in the five element theory of human health.
Regarding the wood element:
What of people whose Wood is chronically imbalanced, who can’t level out? Aside from the many problems that can arise in relationship to the liver and gall bladder, imagine the perpetual anger and frustration of those who feel blocked in all directions, to whom every interaction is a confrontation. Such people are unable to experience growth and rebirth – unable to experience springtime within; they sense growth and change happening all around them, yet are stuck inside themselves, their lives so chaotic they can’t see a direction, a plan, or even how to begin. Or imagine how it is for the person who can’t see the forest for the trees, who is so fastidious that nothing ever gets started because it’s never quite right? It’s not that one would choose to be this way; but for a person in a state of Wood imbalance, there seems only one choice – this is how it must be. [Source]…
About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.
This article (This Major Organ is the Seat of Your Anger, Frustration and Irritability) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.