How internal organ imbalances can affect your personality, character and behaviour

How internal organ imbalances can affect your personality, character and behaviour

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.

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.

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
  • bloating
  • yellow urine
  • preference for cold
  • hunger / increased appetite
  • violent dreams / nightmares
  • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • short menstrual cycle (less than 26 day cycle)


  • irritable
  • short tempered
  • argumentative
  • loud
  • rushing / doing things quickly

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:


  • tired
  • overweight / difficulty losing weight
  • puffy legs / ankles
  • abdominal bloating (especially after food)
  • sluggish bowel movements
  • lower back pain
  • poor memory
  • impotence
  • 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)

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
  • thirst
  • 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)


  • stressed
  • anxious
  • easily upset
  • nervous
  • sensitive

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
  • pale
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • catches cold and flu easily
  • hayfever
  • chronic sinusitis
  • cold hands and feet


  • sadness
  • crying
  • low volume and slow voice
  • dislikes talking

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
  • PMT
  • insomnia
  • bloating
  • period pain
  • discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • premature ejaculation


  • stressed
  • busy / over-committed
  • over-achievers
  • perfectionists

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:


  • weakness
  • lack of energy
  • pale
  • 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
  • unmotivated

If you want to improve your emotional state, don’t forget to also pay attention to the Yin and Yang balance of your internal organs.


Dr Ping Wang is the clinic founder and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health. She has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Dr Ping especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners.