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Worry, Anxiety, Regret - W.A.R. - What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing!

by John Stan | Nov 20, 2015

If you are a practitioner, click here to read the more in-depth version.

War is never good. The untold cost of war in terms of pain, suffering and loss can never be tallied. While external wars have occurred from the beginning of time, all over the planet there are quiet battles being fought and these stories largely are left untold. These are the internal struggles and challenges we as humans deal with on an emotional level as we cope with day to day life.

Our ongoing emotional state creates the chemical soup in which the cells of our body are bathed in. When you think about it like that, it becomes quite alarming and important to ask what yourself the following question... what type of soup are my cells experiencing on a day to day basis. Sweet? Bland? Sour? Bitter? Salty? Believe it or not, taste, emotions, colour, seasons, organ systems are all interconnected energetically influencing our state of mind and the resultant soup of chemicals our cellular ecosystem swims in. (see chart bellow detailing these correspondences).


Elemental Phase Season Healthy Emotion Sub-Healthy Emotion Taste Colour Organ System
Water Winter Resourcefulness Fear Salty Blue/Black Kidney, Bladder
Wood Spring Creativity Anger Sour Green Liver, Gall Bladder
Fire Summer Playfulness Sadness Bitter Red Heart, Small Intestine, Three Heater, Pericardium
Earth Late Summer/Harvest Generosity/Caring Worry/Over thinking Sweet Yellow Stomach, Spleen, Pancreas
Metal Fall Letting go / Appropriate Boundary Setting Grief / regret / can't let go or draw proper boundaries Spicy White Lung, Large Intestine

Increasingly, Science has explored the relationship between the mind, our bodies and states of health. Study after study has conclusively demonstrated that there is a definite link between emotions and health. Prolonged negative or depressive emotional states place a burden on our immune systems. We all know that when the front line defenses are down, all manner of opportunistic viruses and bacteria try to take advantage. Not only are our external boarders at risk, our ability to internally protect ourselves from wayward cell mutations and low grade inflammations suffer also, setting the stage for larger problems to occur!

W.A.R. is an acronym that aptly lists the types of emotions that can cause challenges to our immune system. These are Worry, Anxiety and Regret. Prolonged states of any of these emotions, even on a low grade level will put a negative pressure on your immune system. You can imagine that the internal stresses that these emotions put on our cellular ecosystem can never be good. In life, we all want to get ahead , move forward and deal with our stress in the best way possible. But what if the controller of how we deal with these stresses was influenced by one of the W.A.R emotions? It would be like having one foot on the gas pedal and one foot on the brake! We know this will cause friction, heat, the burning of rubber and oil and so on in a car. Similarly the same types of things happen biologically in our cellular ecosystem! One part of our self wants to move forward, the other part is holding back and literally a war room like environment starts to build internally where different part of ourselves are fighting against each other. This causes disruption in our nervous system, throws our hormones out of balance and wreaks havoc with our circulation and blood pressure.

Sometimes, the W.A.R. room emotions predominate because of unexpected external stresses, but they can also be a result of a weakness in the system that has not been addressed. Looking at the chart below you can see that certain organ systems when compromised can lead to an expression of one of the W.A.R. room emotions. Check within yourself and determine if you experience one of these emotions fairly frequently. Are they like some unwelcome friend who is always hanging around and you are continually trying to ignore? Believe it or not, many situations and circumstances can create the conditions for certain types of emotions to arise. Be it the colour of a room, the lack of light, certain diets, changes in seasons, inherited constitutional tendencies and/or our lifestyle, they all are contributors to the emotions we experience on a day to day basis.

If your W.A.R room emotions are a regular part of your day, even at a low level, talk to your Acupuncturist, TCM or Natural Health Practitioner and mention the emotions that are predominant. This will help give them further information as to which systems need attention. They can then offer botanical medicines, dietary counselling, Qi Gong and other stress management techniques to help create the conditions such that the W.A.R room is shut down. When that happens, then healthier more robust emotional states, such as creativity and resourcefulness will be your day to day companions!

Yours in health,

John D. Stan, DrTCM 

The following article was written to empower patients to participate in maximizing their health. Dr. Stan believes that by working with your integrative healthcare practitioner, optimized health becomes a reality.

For further reading ask you practitioner about the availability of the following books:


Rhythms of Change -Reclaiming Your Health Using Ancient Wisdom and Your Own Common Sense
by Mary Saunders
Available from your practitioner or click here to buy.

Between Heaven and Earth - A Guide to Chinese Medicine by Harriet Beinfield & Efrem Korngold
Available from your practitioner or click here to buy.

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