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  • Current location: home>> Life Cultivation and Rehabilitation of TCM(PREVENTION) >> Natural Therapeutic Methods of Life Cultivation and Rehabilitation >> Regulating emotions
    8 Checking one emotion with another
    This is the method mentioned more than 2000 years ago in "Discussion on Principles of Yin-Yang Doctrine and its Relations with Natural Things and Phenomena", a chapter of Plain Questions. The content includes "anger impairs the liver while grief restricts anger"; "joy impairs the heart while fear restricts joy"; "anxiety impairs the spleen while anger restricts anxiety"; "melancholy impairs the lung while joy restricts melancholy" and "fear impairs the kidney while anxiety restricts fear." This method of checking one emotion with another is based on the principle of excess curing excess. Zhang Zihe, a medical expert of the Jin and Yuan Dynasties, introduced it specifically as follows: "Checking anger with grief means using sorrowful words to move one; checking grief with joy using crack jokes to please one; checking joy with fear using fear and death to frighten one; checking anxiety with anger using insulting language to excite one; checking fear with anxiety using worrying words to make one forget the fear. "
    2.1.8.1 Fear restricts joy
    This is a method to restrain great joy impairing the heart and restore mental functions by applying fearful factors to astringe the dissipated cardiac spirit. The method is often applicable to diseases of scattered cardiac qi due to endless laughing as well as emotional disorders due to excessive joy.
    2.1.8.2 Anger restricts anxiety
    This is a method to restore functions of the heart and spleen by using irritating factors to restrain excessive anxiety. The method is often applicable to melancholia, insomnia, epilepsy, etc. caused by impairment of the spleen and consumption of spirit due to excessive anxiety.
    2.1.8.3 Joy restricts grief
    This is a method to overcome excessive grief by utilizing funny factors. The method often makes use of romantic, very witty and humorous language, and amusing performance, telling jokes, listening to xiangsheng (a traditional Chinese comic dialogue) and watching plays. And even sometimes, the doctor intentionally makes a ridiculous diagnosis to satisfy the patient's eagerness. In doing all these, the purposes are to free the patient from the difficult positions and consequently achieve the effect of joy restricting grief. The method is often clinically applicable to crying with grief and hysteria as well as diseases due to excessive grief.
    2.1.8.4 Grief restricts anger
    This is a method to restrain excessive anger by making use of grievous factors. The method is commonly applicable to other diseases with accompanying emotional excitement such as vertigo, mania and epilepsy.
    2.1.8.5 Anxiety restricts fear
    This is a method to restrain fright and fear by adopting anxious factors. The method is commonly applied in rehabilitation to get rid of the patient's fearful mood.
    In applying the method of "checking one emotion with another", pay attention to the intensity of emotional stimuli. The intensity has to exceed that of the pathogenic emotional factors. For instance, sudden stimuli or continuous intensification of stimuli may be applied. Moreover, modern people may adopt other relevant methods as long as they grasp the essence of the above-mentioned methods. Mechanical application of these methods is not advisable.
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