Leon Hammer, Dragon Rises, Red Bird Flies, 71-2
Considered in terms of Western physiology…chronic emotional stress would call…upon the slower adaptational mechanisms associated with the endocrine system, especially the adrenals, according to a theory advanced by Hans Selye in his General Adaptational Syndrome…The adrenal cortex resembles in some ways the actions of Kidney yin, as anti-inflammatory and water regulating. Likewise, the Kidney yin is associated with pituitary, and Kidney yang with thyroid, function.
According to Dr. Shen, long-standing, deep-seated sadness or anguish is the other emotion that affects the Kidneys. This sadness id expressed only by little sounds or groans, with no tears. Most charts of the correspondence in the Five Phase system associate groaning with the Kidneys. Since this sadness is so deep, tears are repressed, the entire water control mechanism is suppressed, and the Kidney yin which supplies that system is depleted, causing both the Kidney and then other organ systems to become dry. Dryness will turn eventually into fire, and the latter will make the nervous system tight. Without too great a stretch of the imagination, one could see electrolyte balance impaired and the neuro-humoral system depleted by such a sequence of events.