The character for anger is a symbol for the emotion of a female slave under the hand of the master. This is more a symbol for repressed anger – the Chinese say anger can either be bursting out or repressed. The effort of a bird first launching off the ground is a symbol for the energy behind anger. It can be useful for initiating action and overcoming fear. However, if it is not mastered the mind becomes scattered and it may lead to violence and impetuosity. Anger moves qi upwards with physiological consequences such as headaches, brain confusion, sudden deafness and loss of vision, short breath, but also symptoms relating to wood attacking earth such as vomiting blood, diarrhoea with undigested food in the stool, blood in the eyes, poor digestion. Other symptoms include pain under the ribs, and anger leading to poor memory where constant irritation damages the will.

~ Anger ~

The term “anger” should be interpreted very broadly, to include several other related emotional states, such as resentment, repressed anger, irritability, frustration, rage, hatred, indignation, animosity or bitterness.

If these emotions persist for a long time, they can affect the Liver causing stagnation of Liver-Qi or rising of Liver-Yang. These are the two most common Liver dis-harmonies arising out of anger.

Anger makes Qi rise and symptoms will manifest in the head and neck, such as headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, neck stiffness, red blotches on the front part of the neck, a red face.

“Severe anger severs body and Qi, Blood stagnates in the upper part and the person may suffer loss of consciousness.”

Anger does not always manifest outwardly with outbursts of anger, irritability, shouting, red face, etc.  Some individuals may carry anger inside them for years without ever manifesting it.

If anger is bottled up it will cause stagnation of Liver-Qi, whereas if it is expressed it will cause Liver-Yang rising or Liver-Fire blazing.

Long-standing depression may be due to repressed anger or resentment. Because the person is very depressed, he or she may look very subdued and pale, walk slowly and speak with a low voice, all signs which one would associate with a depletion of Qi and Blood deriving from sadness or grief.

However, when anger rather than sadness is the cause of disease, the pulse and tongue will clearly show it: the pulse will be Full and Wiry and the tongue will be Red with redder sides and with a dry yellow coating. This type of depression is most probably due to long-standing resentment.

In some cases anger can affect other organs, especially the stomach. This can be the result of stagnant Liver-Qi invading the Stomach. This occurs when one gets angry at meal-times...

Regular anger emotions an hour or two after meals will affect the Intestines rather than the Stomach. This happens, for example, when we go straight back to a stressful and frustrating job after lunch.  In this case, stagnant Liver-Qi invades the Intestines or the Qi of the Intestines stagnates directly and causes abdominal pain, distension and alternation of constipation with diarrhea.

Finally, anger, like all other emotions, also affects the Heart.

Anger makes the Heart full with blood rushing to it.

With time, this leads to Blood-Heat affecting the Heart and therefore the Mind. Anger tends to affect the Heart particularly when the person does a lot of jogging, hurrying or exercising.