Get To Know Your Organs According To Chinese Medicine

WRITTEN BY Zena Wozniak


Is optimal organ health the secret to optimal emotional health?

We tend to talk about our organs as isolated parts. Each is responsible for their own little inside job. However, in Chinese Medicine, each organ is part of an intricate interwoven system. The health of the organ correlates with larger repeating patterns throughout the rest of the body – including our emotions.

Here to explain more is Kat Villain. Kat teaches Katonah Yoga, a practice heavily informed by the principals of Chinese Medicine. As part of her teaching, Kat performs personal body readings in which she reveals patterns held in the body. 

Read on for her tips about establishing a true mind body connection by becoming familiar with your organ health. Check out her new book Yoga as Origami for more on Katonah theory. 

The Taoist Mind Body Connection

Our body is a walking storybook of our lives. Our muscles become storage tanks of repressed memories and emotions not yet dealt with. This perpetuates dis-ease, stress, and feelings of not being safe and supported. It shows up in the body in the form of tension, stiff muscles, inflammation and pain.

The ancient Taoist teachings saw the balance of mind, body and breath as integral to one’s health. The key is you have to work with all three. Nothing spiritually exists without an anchor to the physical. The anchors of our emotions are our physical organs. Any imbalance in our emotional and mental body will show up in the organs.

Your Organ Body

Our organs are our life force. Often, when the body feels stuck or dense, we are resisting an experience and this alters the frame of our body. For example, you might slouch your shoulders when sad shrinking the frame of the lungs. Doing so diminishes the amount of space available for an organ to breathe and function. A physical body with a lot of space will have organs that function efficiently, emotions that move through effortlessly, a vibrancy that is magnetic, and a spirit that is connected to the bigger picture of humanity and the universe.

From an Eastern standpoint, the Taoists play for longevity and the organs are key. A healthy functioning body allows the mind to get to its destination. Below are the characters of the organs so you get to know your inner workings better. This awareness allows participation into your health and well-being. When you understand the language of the organ body you can understand the bodies subtle signals when an organ needs your loving support.


Element: Wood
Season: Spring
Physical Correlations: The health of your nails, eyes, tendons and ligaments.
Related Emotions: Anger, Impatience
Spiritual Significance: Represents dreaming, imagination and planning; ensures the smooth flow of emotions.


Element: Fire
Season: Summer
Physical Correlations: Our complexion and the tongue.
Related Emotions: Joy, Contentment
Spiritual Significance: Represents enlightenment, intuition and understanding; freedom from emotional burden


Element: Earth
Season: Late Summer
Physical Correlations: Our muscles and the lips.
Related Emotions: Worry, Empathy
Spiritual Significance: Directs inspiration from the heart into intention and actions; gives us thought, awareness and focus


Element: Metal
Season: Autumn
Physical Correlations:  skin, sweat, body hair and the nose
Related Emotions: Grief, Courage
Spiritual Significance: Relaying sensory feedback from the external to the internal; the breath sweeps stale air and dust out of the body and feeds you through the ions, ores and minerals of the atmosphere


Element: Water
Season: Winter
Physical Correlations: The bladder, bones and ears.
Related Emotions: Fear, Wisdom
Spiritual Significance: Represents our drive and willpower to get things done on the planet; also contains the information from our lineage and ancestral waters

Learn more about framing up the organs for optimum health in Kat’s book, Yoga as Origami. You can also follow her on Instagram or take a class with her at Love Yoga in Venice, CA. 

KATONAH YOGA® was founded by Nevine Michaan, and is a Hatha yoga practice refined over forty years, blended with Taoist theory, sacred geometries, pranayama, and meditation. For more information, please visit


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