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Physical problems can contribute to emotional imbalances, and emotional imbalances can contribute to physical problems. It’s important to deal with both aspects by taking a whole-body approach. Let’s take a look at how to do that.

Anger very often occurs when someone disappoints or hurts us, or when our expectations are unmet, or when we resist change. In traditional Chinese medicine, anger is characterised as rising Liver fire, causing stress to the Liver. It’s responsible for shallow breathing, high blood pressure, dizziness, stiff shoulders and upper back, increased hydrochloric acid production, and ulcers. Even more insidious are the physical problems associated with pent-up anger, such as cancer, migraines, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

To be able to safely diffuse anger is key to good health. But, how do we do this? Herbs that help cool the liver and soothe anger are oat straw, dandelion root, skullcap, blessed thistle, and licorice. They are best taken as a tea twice daily. Taking 50mg twice daily of the amino acid 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-tryptophan) elevates serotonin levels, helping to curb anger and violence. Calcium and magnesium (in the ratio of 2:1) relaxes muscles and nourishes nerve cells. Essential oils that can be used to diffuse anger include geranium, lemon balm, jasmine, neroli, basil, chamomile, frankincense, lavender, rose and ylang ylang. For anger, they are best used diluted in a massage oil, in the bath, or as inhalations.

Bach flower remedies are also a great choice to help quell irritation and anger:
Heather: For those who are easily irritated.
Walnut: For those going through huge life changes.
Holly: For those struggling with jealousy or sibling rivalry.
Cherry Plum: For those prone to temper tantrums.
Impatiens: To help you become more patient.

When we’re trying to deal with anger, it helps to acknowledge that we are in fact angry! Be very clear about what it is that’s really bothering you. It’s important to be able to discuss the conflict without attacking or blaming. Listen to what the other person has to say, all the while trying to understand where they are coming from as well. Avoid global statements such as “you always” and “you never”. Finally, be willing to forgive.

Toni Green is a Launceston-based naturopath, herbalist and health writer. It is her passion to pass on this knowledge of natural therapies to others so that they might live a stress-free life with health and vitality. Toni can be contacted at www.naturalhealthsolutions.net.au, toni.green57@iinet.net.au or 0431 716 601.