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  • Writer's pictureTelina R.Ac

Do dreams mean anything in TCM?

More often than not, we dismiss our dreams as just that, dreams. We don't dive into what they could be trying to tell us and we take their context with a grain of salt.

But what if there was actually something behind the different variations of dreams. What if they all meant something and were trying to teach us what is going on within our own minds?

Within Traditional Chinese Medicine, most issues that arise can be connected to our five internal organs. These organs are the Heart, Lungs, Spleen, Kidneys, and Liver. There are other organs which are associated with these, but the organs listed are the primary organs.

Each organ is associated with a colour, taste, feeling etc, which can help those who practice TCM determine the pattern which is affecting those who seek help through Chinese Medicine.

These same organs can also be in excess or deficient and we can then focus on what we need more of or less of in order to re-balance our Qi.


The Liver is associated with the element of wood, eyes, tendons, the colour green, a sour taste and the emotion of anger.

When an excessive pathology is affecting our Liver's, we become aggravated and our dreams will be reflected with this feeling directed towards someone or something. When our Liver Qi is deficient, we may dream of green forests to give us hints towards how to re-energize this area.


The Spleen is associated with the element of earth, the mouth, muscles, the colour yellow, a sweet taste and the emotion of overthinking.

The paired organ with the Spleen is the Stomach, so when this go amuck we might begin to observe dreams regarding food. When the Spleen is deficient we may find ourselves dreaming about being hungry and searching for food. When the Stomach is deficient, we may dream about being in the process of consuming large quantities of food in order to appease these need for energy.

Other dreams related to pathologies within the Spleen may be shown in dreams as hills, marshes, singing, feeling that you cannot move your body (like it is stuck) or houses which have been damaged by the elements.


The Kidneys are associated with the element of water, the ears, bones, the colour black, the salty taste and the emotion of fear.

When these is a deficiency affecting the Kidneys, we will most likely have dreams which reflect it's relationship to water, it's relationship to fear and it's relationship to the season of Winter.

Dreams regarding Kidney deficiency may be portrayed as dreams of swimming (especially after something bad has happened like the boat you were on is now sinking), feeling scared while suddenly plunging into water, dreams where the setting is Winter and being surrounded by water.

Another dream which may give us insight into what is happening with the Kidneys is dreaming of being in a dark abyss that seems to stretch on forever or falling from high places.


The Heart is associated with the element of fire, the tongue, the blood vessels, the colour red, a bitter taste and the emotion of joy.

Dreams letting us know there might be a pathology involving the heart include dreams that involve fire, which may indicate and excessive pathology, or dreams which involve excessive laughter, mountains which are covered with mist, fog or smoke, and fire with smoke when the heart is deficient.

Dreaming of a crowded path may let us know that the Heart's paired organ, the Small Intestine, has some pathological involvement.


The Lungs are associated with the element of metal, the nose, the skin and hair, the colour white, a spicy taste and the emotion of grief.

When the lung is deficient, we will dream of white objects and events that involve murder. When the Lung is in excess, we will dream of being in battle.

Other dream qualities which indicate there is a pathology involving the Lungs include dreams where the are objects made of metal, crying, and dreams of flying.


Information regarding your dreams can be extremely beneficial in diagnosing a TCM pathology in order to obtain a more accurate treatment plan.

If you have issues with sleep and have dreams that you find extremely weird and that cannot be explained, why not give acupuncture a go.

Book an appointment in with me HERE.


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