By Donna Gates, as seen on:

Recall the last time you felt angry.

What else do you notice?

Do you remember feeling nauseous or pressure in your gut? Do you remember if the area between the shoulders and the clavicle bone grew shorter and tighter? What about your jaw? Or your breath?

According to the ancient philosophy of Chinese medicine, anger is stored in the liver.

This means that a congested liver can create feelings of anger that seem to arise from nowhere. It also means that frequent episodes of frustration can slow down the liver’s ability to cleanse the body of harmful chemicals and excess hormones.

Too much anger in life can quite literally weigh the liver down.

When we feel sad all of the time—or anxious, or angry, or uninspired, or self-sabotaging - we have a tendency to think that it’s all mental.

In other words, we think that our emotions and our thoughts live only in the mind.

What if I told you that every part of your body experiences a thought or a feeling?

When it comes to health, we can save a lot of time and energy once we understand that body and mind are one.

Because the body and mind are one, they are actually pathways to each other.

In other words, we can access a physical illness through the mind and the emotions. We can also access stored, unprocessed emotions through food, bodywork like yoga or massage, fasting, and acupuncture.

While it may seem farfetched that any one emotion affects our organ system, acupuncture and other traditional forms of medicine work with different layers of the body.

One very special layer is called connective tissue.

Connective tissue is one continuous network of semi-liquid fibers that joins muscles to bone, one group of muscles to another, and holds our abdominal organs in place!

Microfibers of connective tissue even penetrate our cells, where DNA is stored.

When an acupuncturist inserts a needle into the body or when a massage therapist works on a specific area, they are asking the connective tissue in the body to release.

This is because connective tissue can become thick, sticky, and stiff from overuse, trauma, poor posture, stress, or even negative self-talk! These sticky places are called adhesions.

While knotted shoulders are obvious, adhesions can even occur around organs and in the deeper layers of muscle. Adhesions can affect the immune system and the hormonal system.

When you do not feel well, you can bet that some form of adhesion or congestion is inhibiting the body from expressing its vital life force.

One thing necessary for healing is release.

Holding on and refusing to move generates disease and keeps an illness in place.

When we are able to release, surrender, and finally let go, we allow movement.

Many forms of traditional medicine use the body to discern the emotional and mental factors that contribute to an illness. If we listen, we soon discover that the body is always speaking to us.

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