The ancients believed that dreams could predict our future. Today, most people discount that, though our dreams do tell us about our desires, fears and emotional states.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been studying dreams for more than 2,000 years and holds that recurring dreams can give strong indicators of our health, even pinpoint an organ that's out of whack.
In TCM, internal energy balance is everything, but most of us don't notice a slight imbalance if we don't have symptoms. The five major internal organs (liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys) may, however, give us warnings in our dreams that all is not well ?? if we remember them.
If that happens repeatedly and there's a pattern, pay attention and check it out.
Generally, happy and pleasant dreams ?? and no surprise here ?? indicate that qi (energy) is flowing well and there's no major problem.
Recurrent nightmares and troubled dreams ?? when we are angry, agitated, terrified, sad ?? usually mean there's trouble with the flow of qi.
Interestingly, if there's an invasion of "pathogenic energy" in the genital organs, people may dream of sex (though they may dream about it other times as well).
"In traditional Chinese culture, dreams are connected to the five internal organs; it is believed that dreams can reflect the condition of those organs," according to Dr Hu Weiqin, former physician to some of China's leaders, including Marshal Zhu De. There is a section on dreams in his book, "Jiang Zhongyi Jinxing Daodi" ("Cherish TCM Forever"), published in 2008.
Here are some dream alerts from Dr Hu:
If you dream that you are angry with friends or family, and occasionally feel dizzy during the day, there may be excessive yang (hot energy) in the liver. This could be caused by fatigue. TCM doctors would commonsensically recommend getting enough rest and relieving stress.
If you dream that you are falling from high places, you had better check your kidneys. Kidneys refers to the reproductive and urinary tract system.