Sometimes a person’s character and behaviour can change suddenly or over a short period of time. For example, an introverted person can become extroverted, a busy person can slow down, and some people that are usually calm and gentle can become irritable and angry.
Generally, changes like these to a person’s character or behaviour can lead others to think that their personality has changed.
However, Chinese Medicine considers emotions, personal characteristics, constitution and one’s internal health to rely on and affect each other.
The changes we see in someone’s character can be related to an imbalance of Yin and Yang, and the health of a person’s internal organs.
1. A common clinical case
A few years ago, a lady came to see me regarding her health. Her husband also attended the appointment. They had been married for over 30 years and had a very good relationship.
Unfortunately, the woman’s health and emotional state had deteriorated recently and they had been experiencing some trouble with their relationship. The husband told me that his wife had become a different person.
So I checked the lady using Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis methods to discover that she had a lot of symptoms, including insomnia, vivid dreams, lack of energy, hot flushes, anxiety and bloating. She had a very tight pulse and very red tongue.
All of these signs indicated to me that she was suffering from a Liver and Kidney disorder. I explained to the couple that it was not that her personality had changed, but that a disharmony of her internal organs was affecting her demeanour.
I treated her with a few sessions of acupuncture and a few weeks of Chinese herbal medicine, and all of her symptoms resolved. Her husband was very happy and told me, “you brought my original wife back!”
In my 30 plus years of clinical experience, the above case is very common. If we do not realise that these changes may be associated with an internal organ imbalance which has not been treated, the consequences can be very serious (e.g. depression, divorce or suicide).
2. Common imbalances and their associated characteristics
There is a great variety of characters in the world, but in my clinical experience I have found the following to be common.
Some people may have one or a combination of the following six patterns.
- Excessive Liver and Gall Bladder Yang
- Spleen and Kidney Yang Weakness
- Yin Deficiency (Liver, Kidney and Lung Weakness)
- Qi (Energy) Deficiency of Lung and Spleen
- Liver Qi and Blood Stagnation
- Qi and Blood Deficiency
Please continue reading to learn more about each of these patterns and their associated physical symptoms and personality characteristics.
2.1. Personality Characteristics of Excessive Liver and Gall Bladder Yang
Chinese Medicine considers excessive Yang or Heat stuck in the Liver or Gall Bladder organs to cause a disorder. In this situation, the body will have the following symptoms and characteristics:
- feeling of heat
- red face
- excessive sweating
- constipation / sluggish bowel movements
- yellow urine
- preference for cold
- hunger / increased appetite
- violent dreams / nightmares
- overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- short menstrual cycle (less than 26 day cycle)
- short tempered
- rushing / doing things quickly
2.2. Personality Characteristics of Spleen and Kidney Yang Weakness
In Chinese Medicine, Spleen and Kidney Yang weakness not only makes the body sluggish, but can make the body retain more fluid (dampness). The body will have the following symptoms and characteristics:
- overweight / difficulty losing weight
- puffy legs / ankles
- abdominal bloating (especially after food)
- sluggish bowel movements
- lower back pain
- poor memory
- low libido
- under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- long or delayed menstrual cycle (more than 32 day cycle)
- prefers warmth and avoids cold
- does things slowly
- speaks slowly and softly
- reacts slowly
- tendency to depression
- keeps the peace (non-confrontational)
2.3. Personality Characteristics of Yin Deficiency (Liver, Kidney and Lung Weakness)
In Chinese Medicine, if a major organ (e.g. Kidney, Liver or Lung) has a Yin deficiency, it will cause less fluid and extra heat in the body so the person will have the following symptoms and characteristics:
- dry, cracked skin
- dry stool / constipation
- dry cough
- hot flushes
- sweating while sleeping (night sweating)
- heat rash, especially around the chest and neck
- clicking or cracking of joints
- vivid dreams
- disturbed sleep
- scanty period (light flow)
- easily upset
2.4. Personality Characteristics of Qi (Energy) Deficiency of Lung and Spleen
Chinese Medicine considers Lung and Spleen Qi deficiency to be associated with lowered immunity. People with this disorder may also experience the following symptoms and characteristics:
- history of asthma or frequent asthma attacks
- shortness of breath
- lack of energy / tired
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- catches cold and flu easily
- chronic sinusitis
- cold hands and feet
- low volume and slow voice
- dislikes talking
2.5. Personality Characteristics of Liver Qi and Blood Stagnation
Many factors can lead to a Liver Qi and Blood disorder, leading to sluggish circulation and stagnation. A person with this disharmony may experience the following:
- stiffness / pain in the neck / shoulder
- headaches / migraines
- breast fullness and tenderness before period
- period pain
- discomfort in the upper abdomen
- premature ejaculation
- busy / over-committed
2.6. Personality Characteristics of Qi and Blood Deficiency
Qi and Blood physically support the body’s basic functions. If Qi and Blood are weak, the organs can not function as well as they should. The body will show the following:
- lack of energy
- scanty or delayed period
- short of breath
- dizzy (postural dizziness)
- craving sleep
- poor appetite
- sluggish bowel movement
- sluggish circulation (e.g. cold hands and feet, pale nails)
- iron deficiency
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- doing things slowly
- speaks quietly
- dislikes talking
- rarely anxious or angry
3. How does Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture determine your internal disorder to balance your emotional state?
- Find the cause: We will check your body by our Traditional diagnosis methods (including tongue and pulse diagnosis, signs and symptoms) to find out the disharmony or imbalance of your internal organs.
- Set up a treatment plan: We will set up your treatment plan based on your individual case e.g. acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, meridian massage, cupping or scrubbing.
- Suggestions for diet and lifestyle: We will give you personalised suggestions for your diet, food and exercise to help you respond to treatment quickly.
If you want to improve your emotional state, you need to pay attention to the Yin and Yang balance of your internal organs.