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Uncovering the Hidden Link: Lung Health and its Connection to Grief

Grief is a natural human emotion that arises in response to loss. It can come from losing a loved one, a relationship, a job, a pet, or even life changes such as moving to a new city.

Grief is a complex and multi-faceted emotion, and it can affect people differently. It can be physically, emotionally, and mentally draining which can impact our lung health. In Chinese medicine, the lungs are the organ system most associated with grief and sadness. When we experience loss, it can affect the flow of Qi (life energy) in the lungs, leading to imbalances that can manifest as physical and emotional symptoms. The Physical symptoms could be respiratory problems, weakness, and even fatigue.

In this blog post, you will get to explore the connection between the lungs and grief in Chinese medicine and how this understanding can inform our approach to healing from loss and trauma.

Let's get Started.

The Lung in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, the lung is considered the "emperor" of the body, responsible for controlling the qi or energy that circulates throughout the body. The lung also governs the skin, the nose, and the throat, making it closely related to the respiratory system.

The lung is said to be the organ most closely related to grief. When someone is experiencing grief, it can weaken the lung and cause physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, and a weakened immune system.

Grief and the Lung Health

Grief can be a physically and emotionally draining experience and can take a toll on the body. Research has shown that grief can weaken the immune system, leading to an increased risk of illness and infection.

Additionally, grief can cause physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing, all related to the lung. When grieving, they may also experience tightness in the chest, which can also be related to the lung in Chinese medicine.

In Chinese medicine, emotions are seen as directly impacting the body, and grief is no exception. When someone is grieving, the energy in the body is said to become stagnant. These can lead to physical symptoms such as those mentioned above.

When supporting lung health during this time, it is crucial to release this stagnant energy and help the lung. Steps to be taken include:

  • Practicing deep breathing exercises.

  • Eating a healthy diet.

  • Getting enough rest and exercise.

The Connection between Grief and Breathing

Breathing is an essential part of life and is closely related to grief in Chinese medicine. When someone is grieving, they may find that their breathing becomes shallow and rapid, which can exacerbate physical symptoms such as shortness of breath. While supporting lung health during this time, focusing on deep, slow breathing is essential, which can help calm the body and release stagnant energy.

One of the simplest ways to support deep breathing is meditation and mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help to slow down breathing and reduce stress, which can help to keep the lung and promote healing during this difficult time. Additionally, practicing deep breathing exercises such as those used in yoga and tai chi can help support the lung and promote healing.

Healing from Grief with Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, the goal of treatment for grief is to restore balance to the lung Qi, strengthen the Wei Qi, and promote healing on all levels. There are several ways in which this can be achieved, including:

  1. Acupuncture: Acupuncture can help to release emotional and physical tension, regulate the flow of Qi, and boost the body's immune response. It can also help reduce sadness and anxiety while improving sleep and energy levels.

  2. Herbal remedies: Herbs like mullein, thyme, and licorice can help support the lungs and alleviate symptoms of grief. These herbs can be taken in supplement form or as tea.

  3. Mind-body practices: Mind-body practices like meditation, yoga, and tai chi can help to calm the mind and reduce stress, which can help to support the lung and alleviate symptoms of grief.

  4. Diet: In Chinese medicine, a diet is essential for promoting overall health and well-being. Food nourishing and supportive of the lungs include pears, radishes, and mung beans. It's also vital to avoid foods that can weaken the lungs and the Wei Qi, such as cold, raw foods and dairy products.

  5. Deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help to promote relaxation and improve lung function. This exercise can benefit those experiencing grief symptoms and need to strengthen their lungs.


Understanding the connection between lung health and grief can help us better understand emotional trauma's impact on physical wellness. By taking a holistic approach to our health and incorporating natural remedies and mind-body practices, we can help support our lungs and alleviate the symptoms associated with grief.

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