How to Detox from Emotional Stress


In the first post on detox; Safe Detox, we explored the foundation of nutritional detoxification for our bodies. This was followed by Why We Need to Detox which examined how our modern environment creates the need for a detox regimen. This post will uncover the basis of emotional detox and the benefits of letting go of “emotional baggage.”

Our emotions are the bridge between the outer world of experience and the inner world of body, mind and spirit. When we take care, and balance our emotional wellbeing, we can improve our physical health and create positive interactions in our relationships, within ourselves and with others.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each organ has a corresponding emotion. It is normal to experience each of them: anger, joy, worry, sadness or fear. Emotions are a normal expression of being human. It is important to feel them, process them and move on with life.

Sleep helps us to recover from the emotional ups and downs of the day, filing away what is important and letting go of what is not. When we are presented with extreme circumstances or prolonged stress, our emotions can become overwhelming and we lose the ability to effectively file them away or let go of them. It’s no wonder that sleeplessness is one of the first things to arise when we experience emotional upset. Over time, unresolved emotional buildup can literally drag us down, both physically and emotionally.

The liver is the organ which is most affected by emotions and toxins. Now is the best time to take care of your liver and an emotional detox can help. Emotional Detox is the process of working through the layers of unresolved emotional distress so we can feel renewed energy and creativity. And just like a nutritional detox, an emotional detox requires time and commitment. Getting support can be very helpful for a successful detox.

Four suggested tools for emotional detox:


    1. It starts with breathing. From our first breath in life to our last, mindful breathing can help us heal and let go of anger, fear, shock, worry, pain, jealousy and all other negative feelings that hold us back. Start by taking six deep, slow and smooth “cleansing” breaths. As emotions rise to the surface, give each one your undivided attention, allowing yourself to fully feel the depth and breadth of each one. Continue to breathe and when you are ready, breathe out the emotion and let it go.



    1. Take a media break. The term information overload is a useful one, as we have become addicted to our smart devices that deliver a constant stream of emotionally stimulating information. Yes, try to take at least a week or a month if possible, to unplug from social media, unnecessary email, and any outside source that can distract from the process of emotional detox.



    1. Remove yourself from emotionally toxic situations and/or people. Trust your intuition on this. I call this the “IN” approach; when you are around people who make you feel inadequate, insecure, or injured in any way, remove yourself from their presence as quickly as possible. Creating some space to objectively assess the relationship is a good practice to develop. Surround yourself with people you like and express gratitude for what is positive in your life.



    1. Acupuncture. Acupuncture can alleviate the symptoms associated with emotional distress. It brings back movement of the blood which was disrupted by prolonged or too strong disturbances. Acupuncture also helps the brain to release those feel-good endorphins and can help the body regain and restore emotional balance.


Renewed energy, emotional resiliency and creative vitality are just a few of the rewards when you take care of your emotional wellbeing.

If you are starting the year with a desire to let go of the emotional baggage that can sometimes drag you down both mentally and physically, make an appointment to discuss what acupuncture can do to help you achieve optimum wellness.


*Disclaimer. This post is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or be used to self-diagnose mental health problems, nor should it be used as a substitute for medical or mental health treatment. It shouldNOT be construed as a prescription, a promise of benefits, claims of cures or a guarantee of results to be achieved. If you are experiencing medical or mental health issues, it is strongly advised that you seek the help of your trusted health care provider for assessment and follow-up care. The commentary in this post is the opinion of its author unless otherwise noted. You agree to take full responsibility for your mental health.

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The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Xia Xin, L.Ac., CSMA


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