Fear is rampant these days. Terrorism, political disputes on all sides, financial and economic instability, and many other things contribute to its spread. And most people don’t realize just how detrimental it can be to our health.

The emotional shock and stress of prolonged fear can affect our health both acutely and chronically. Research has shown the emotional, mental, physical and social effects of chronic fear. It can affect our adrenal glands, which produce our fight or flight hormone, and can contribute to the many diseases associated with stress. Acute fear can affect our heart and our hormones, as well.

According to classical Chinese medicine, fear affects the kidneys. The Chinese medical concept of the kidney is a whole network system that includes kidneys, bladder, bones, hormones, the ears, the reproductive system, the urinary system, the low back, knees and the aging process in general. All of these can be affected negatively by fear. Care of the kidneys is of utmost importance in Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture can be used to improve the function of the kidneys and restore balance to them. Gentle stimulation can reduce stress hormones, decrease fear and help recover from it. Acupuncture can also help other functions associated with the kidney network, such as low back pain, hot flashes, infertility and bladder health.

Homeopathy, since its development over 200 years ago, has been used to restore emotional health. Homeopathic remedies can be used for fear and shock, stage fright, chronic stress and fear, fear of flying and many other phobias. Homeopathy to address fear is done by seeing a qualified practitioner of homeopathy.

Counseling, too, is a therapy for fear. Many people find that counseling, either conventional or pastoral, can help in dealing with issues of fear and phobias. Counseling is a relaxed, safe approach that involves active listening and behavioral modifications.

On the other hand, fear can be multiplied by our addictions. From a Chinese medical perspective, drugs, alcohol and excessive caffeine and sugar can affect our kidneys, increasing the negative effects of fear on our body, soul and spirit. Addressing these addictions and habits and overcoming them should be a priority for our health and wholeness.

Better than having fear rule us is to have power over our fear.

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