Are we avoiding the dark emotions of the heart? Pt1 The Meridian Perspective

Are we avoiding the dark emotions of the heart? Pt1 The Meridian Perspective

Are we avoiding the dark emotions of the heart? Pt1 The Meridian Perspective

 Having worked with this material for over a decade, I am not sure why I haven't examined this more closely before now. There have been times when I have been aware of the question being there, mostly when I have come across other material that suggested something else. But until now the call in me has not been loud enough to do any more with it.

At the start of the summer I was introduced to a technique which allowed for emotional release in the body which may be unconsciously held. The technique is good, it works, I like how it works but the some of the material that was with it made me question how much we deny our hearts true emotional expressions. This was not the first time this year that I had felt like this and when I questioned it with the tutors, their answer was fair, 'different systems focus on different things.' That is reasonable, but why is the majority of Kinesiology, from the educational/training level not recognising these?

This class looked at the positive emotions of Love, Joy and Happiness for the heart, but only really associated Joylessness as a negative. For me absence of an emotion is not a negative emotion, if that makes sense. So I went away to think more about it.

Although this sprung up in response to a Meridian based issue, I was also aware that the material I had been taught from the beginning of my Kinesiology training was also lacking around the Chakra model I had been given over 10 years ago.

In this post we are going to look exclusively at the meridian associations to the emotions for the heart and we will look at the chakra patterns next post.

So what had I been taught? Well to be honest not a lot really. 

I had the basic element emotion given to me, which are based (as are almost all schools of kinesiology) on the Touch for Health Model developed in the 1960's and 70's. Which looking back on the material I have on the last course I took in Touch for Health in 2011 with a manual that had been written in 2005 (2nd edition). In a manual that has 214 pages, there are only 2 that directly address emotions in the meridians (pp180-81).

What is interesting looking back on this is that within the basic 5 element model that is presented, only the heart Fire and Earth elements have any positive emotions related to them (Joy and Love for the Fire and Empathy for the Earth), the other 3 elements don't have any positive emotions related to them, which seems like an unbalanced way of looking at something for systems that are meant to balance your life.

But at least there is the acknowledgement that Hate as an emotion is related to the Fire element and therefore the heart.

I tend to work with the emotional representation that is used in Daoist practice as presented by Master Mantak Chia, where each yin organ (heart, spleen, lungs, kidney and liver) all have both positive and negative (or beneficial/desirable and detrimental/undesirable) emotions.


Organ/Meridian Negative Emotion Positive Emotion
Heart Hate, arrogance, jealousy Love, joy happiness
Spleen Worry, pity Honesty, balance, harmony
Lungs Grief, regret, guilt Courage, self-esteem
Kidney Fear, anxiety Gentleness
Liver Anger, frustration Fairness


For me this has been the most useful and comprehensive model to work with because it also gives you a direction to aim towards and a preference of what is desirable or what demonstrates a healthier perspective. Now I am not saying that having the negative emotions is not ok. These emotions arise in us for various reasons from circumstance to our Shadow Self playing out. But how we process those moments is vital to being healthy. A large amount of Daoist energy work is focused on the transformation of these negative emotions as they recognise that if they are left in the body for periods of time that they will cause blockage, stagnation and illness of both body and mind.

So if we are not even acknowledging the dark emotions of our heart, if they remain in Shadow, unconscious and untouched; how can we heal or transform them?

Answer is we can't! They will just putrefy inside of us until we get ill. Is it any wonder that heart disease is a major killer in the western world. We barely acknowledge how our diet and lifestyle affect it and they are external, easy to see. But in a rational world that denies the interiors of our emotions and feelings; we are a long way off from solving this problem.

I took the time to look at some other sources of information to see if it was just the kinesiology world that was ignoring the darker side of the heart. 

In the Subtle Communications Systems training manual 'Healing with Energy', they list the meridians as having both a 'balanced' and a 'blocked' state with their own emotional weather. The heart is shown as having both love, forgiveness and self-worth in the balanced side and anger, insecure, hate, jealousy in the blocked state.

In Belinda Morris's work on emotions and meridians which seems to reference John Diamonds work on kinesiology, she shows both positive and negative emotional states for the meridians with anger being the negative state of the heart and love and forgiveness being the positive. It is strange to see here anger being a heart based association when in most of the material I have read it is a liver related emotion. But Belinda lists unhappiness as the negative state for the liver. This might come from the fact that most of us relate anger as the opposite of love. But we can be angry and loving at the same time, if for instance you are shouting at your child to avoid an accident about to happen.

On the Natural Health Zone they seem to be coming more from an acupuncture perspective but are suggesting that when the heart is unbalanced it can express emotions such as sadness, absence of laughter, depression, fear, anxiety, hysteria, erratic behavior, alternating joy and melancholy, dullness, yearning for love, jealousy and sorrow; and when balanced Tranquility, gentleness, emotional balance, spirit, love, integrity, optimism, emotional and spiritual growth, zest for life, control of thoughts and senses, conscience and wisdom. To me these are not all emotions and it seems that there is a bit of throwing the baby out with the bath water going on here, I don't feel personally that all those would emanate from the heart energy. But hey this is also just my opinion, please feel free to comment if you feel different.

A draft paper prepared by Donna Eden and David Fienstein on the meridians and emotions suggests the reactive emotion or theme for the heart is heartache or heart break and the balancing emotion or theme is love for self and others. which for me is still a little innocent and not really acknowledging the dark emotions of the heart as does the Daoist appraoch through Chia's work.

In some of the work on acupuncture I have looked at there is a suggestion that the heart is injured by excess emotion of any kind including too much joy or excitement Some of the other work seems to focus far more on physical expression rather than emotional

Some slightly more open work on the psycho-emotional aspects of the heart suggests the positive psycho-emotional attributes are love, joy, peace, contentment, propriety, insight, wisdom, orderliness, forgiveness, and courtesy. Its negative attributes are hate, guilt, shock, nervousness, excitement, longing, and craving. Which I am glad to see a much more comprehensive list of negative emotions associated and also ones which look relevant.

But what are your perspectives, what are your experiences and ideas of the energy and dark emotion associated with the heart meridian.

If you would like to explore more of your own dark emotions perhaps you should consider coming on a Embracing Your Shadow workshop.

This discussion will continue in the next post with how the emotions surrounding the heart chakra are in a similar way edited for comfortable viewing.

Until then I would really value your input in this discussion with your views and comments. Please join in and lets see what sort of consensus we get for this.



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