Effect of Anxiety Emotions on Our Overall Health

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AnxietyIn this article, we are going to talk about the five emotional states according to the Five Elements. We will analyze their functions and look at what happens when an imbalance occurs as back pain, or worse, as the origin of degenerating changes within our spine.

According to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) anxiety originates when there is a state of increased excitement which leads to congestion and is the biological background to the experience of anxiety. Psychoanalysis tells us that each state of panic grows out of the primary trauma of birth. This explains anxiety as a learned reaction in the sense of a classical conditioning. The philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) adds that the whole range of anxiety reaches from the cradle to the grave.


A new view on the nature of anxiety was confirmed by the experiments done by Schachter & Singer. Drugs increasing activity and drugs lessening activity were administered to subjects. During a period of waiting for the experiment to begin (an experiment which never really took place) the researchers staged accidental incidents on subjects with the aim of bringing them into a either a cheerful or an angry mood.

When we look at an emotional state from the Taoist angle, the typical functional characteristics can be associated with a specific emotional state attributed to one of the five elements or states of change. The result is a better understanding of the impact that an emotional state can have on such a complex system like the human being and how this affects our skeletal muscles as well as our spine.

Everyone experiences anxiety in some form. Anxiety is absolutely necessary for survival, for humans as well as animals. Maybe you think that anxiety is the dark side of a life full of pleasure. Maybe you think that anxiety is a disorder of the mind or an accident of creation which has to be eliminated. However, you have to accept that anxiety is an emotion.

According to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) anxiety originates when there is a state of increased excitement which leads to congestion and is the biological background to the experience of anxiety. Psychoanalysis tells us that each state of panic grows out of the primary trauma of birth. This explains anxiety as a learned reaction in the sense of a classical conditioning. The philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) adds that the whole range of anxiety reaches from the cradle to the grave.

A new view on the nature of anxiety was confirmed by the experiments done by Schachter &Singer. Drugs increasing activity and drugs lessening activity were administered to subjects. During a period of waiting for the experiment to begin (an experiment which never really took place) the researchers staged accidental incidents on subjects with the aim of bringing them into a either a cheerful or an angry mood. What they tried to create was an emotional state within the subjects but what actually happened was something else. It turned out that without increased activity produced by pharmaceuticals as a trigger, no emotions were aroused at all. And when this happened the intensity of emotion depended on the level of activity created through medication. This result can be interpreted in the following way: that anxiety like any other emotion is an activity without specific content. This means anxiety is an abstract notion. Besides plain anxiety there is the concept of fear which is an innate reaction to awkward or life threatening situations. Plain anxiety is seen as the peak of psychic abstraction.

Anxiety exists within the deepest layer of our souls as a state of permanent tension which keeps us alert against everything and nothing. This is a basic requirement in order to enable us to survive in an environment of ‘eat or be eaten’. Wherever you go, anxiety will be with you. It will always be with you as it is probably the most important requirement to get anywhere at all. Anxiety makes us cautious, sharpens our senses and improves our intellect. Our physical strengths are constantly on alert because of anxiety and that enables us to react either explosively or to endure seemingly endless situations. All in all anxiety is an essential manifestation of Life Energy. But when this condition is permanent or chronic it becomes destructive and will lead to a state of muscular torpor.

The etymological meaning of anxiety is narrowing or tightness. This is easily comprehensible because when we are anxious we become tense and our throats narrow. Chinese Taoists, ancient Egyptians and Native Americans all say anxiety is a specific manifestation of Life energy on an emotional level. To trace the cosmic principle underlying anxiety we need to take a closer look at its main characteristic. What is anxiety doing? It is a narrow and increasing tension. These are typical contracting characteristics. When we apply this idea to our skeletal muscles, we discover that permanent anxiety creates a state of permanent contraction within our muscular system. This is an advantage along as we benefit from an increased readiness to react.

How does an emotion become the origin for serious spine problems? A constant state of anxiety is a common source of lower back problems. To tremble with anxiety is similar to trembling with cold. Both, the feeling of anxiety and the sensation of cold, cause contraction of the skeletal muscles. But there is a difference between feeling cold and anxiety Feeling cold is a very strong and immediate stimulus, whereas the physical effects of anxiety are a subtle build up over a longer period time. The result is a loss of flexibility which restricts our ability to move. Restriction of movement, which often goes unrecognized for a long time, interrupts the Life energy flow along the spine, resulting in the degeneration of intervertebral discs. This may ultimately cause a prolapsed disc, the origins of which had been hidden in an obvious emotional pattern.

When anxiety begins to build up in the life of a human being for an extended period of time, either on a conscious or a subconscious level, the delicate balance between the emotional and physical body is upset. The imbalance will be expressed by the physical body in some kind of dysfunction which causes pain in the end.

If we explore closely the term anger, it has its roots in the meanings of distress and grief. The origins can also be traced in the German language where “enghe” literally means narrowing. The same is also found in the Indo European word “angh “, which not only means tight but also painfully constricted. We can see a relationship to anxiety as both words contain the meaning of narrowness.

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