As the campaign for President goes into full gear in 2016 most of us are becoming aware of media reports that describe moods of “anger”, “rage”, “fear”, “shock”, and of course, “terror” in our public places and national discourse. It often seems that most Americans feel that their way of life and world is collapsing around them and the best responses are the immediate reactions of strong emotions.
For example, my patient Hank (names changed for privacy) suffers with hypertension, headaches and indigestion who speaks loud and rapidly and often describes their life with anger and frustration also sees their world as essentially being unstable, unreliable and unsupportive of their well-being. This mistrust foments fear damages Hank’s Kidneys or Water element which is responsible for wisdom and trust. This weakens the relationship and connection to his Liver or Wood element. Wood controls anger and frustration so if the Kidneys (Water) become weak then the ability to feel secure and interpret information with clarity will cause the Wood element to become over-active, resulting in anger, frustration, over-aggressive responses, and the physical manifestations of Liver disharmony: high blood pressure, headaches, colitis, etc.
In this way, I see many individuals and groups in our country formulating delusional reactions of anger, aggressiveness, homo- and xeno-phobia, and a feeling of me versus them that is born out of a deep insecurity that has replaced the illusion of life as existing on solid ground. It has gone so far out of balance that some people or groups will believe in deep conspiracies, will trust no science or expertise or different perspectives than their own. Due to the weakness in their Water element and Kidneys, the Wood element or Liver has become excessive and over-reactive. Acupuncture to points such as Shen Men in the ear, and acupuncture points to strengthen the Qi or energy of the Kidney meridian, while gently soothing or releasing the Qi of the Liver.
I’m usually confident that I can help patients such as Hank with this syndrome. As for our nation in 2016 I’m deeply concerned because there is no public unifying or balancing energy that we can agree upon to strengthen our collective Water (more wisdom and perspective) and to soothe our collective Wood to transform anger and aggressiveness into creativity and flexibility. Or perhaps there’s nothing “wrong”, merely an evolutionary period we’re all going through together.