I have recently become curious about how we react to the phenomenon of crying. This began from observing my patients as they cry and noticing that often the first thing they do is apologize for their tears. How curious to be sorry for having water come from our eyes.

As I continued observing my patients’ reactions to their tears I noticed some being frustrated and angry about crying, conversations of failure because they cried, some using muscular effort to not let tears be produced, and observed in myself that when crying I will often feel as if it is a weakness.

As my curiosity continued I observed in public when a child cried how the parents reacted. Most times there are overwhelming apologizes to those around them for their child crying, as if the child had done something horribly wrong.

We often associate crying with being sad and yet tears are produced from all emotions. Humans are the only animals to have the ability to cry. Researchers have found when we have emotional tearing that there are hormones and chemicals secreted in those tears that are not present when we tear from cutting an onion. This has lead researchers to believe that the act of crying has health benefits and that this is why it has survived evolutionarily.

This article is a hope that understanding these beneficial effects may make tears less of a taboo behavior.

What have we made crying mean? When I was in acupuncture school one of my teachers shared with our class a time that his son came to him crying and in that moment he realized he had a choice of saying, “What’s wrong?” or “What happened?” The choice in these two questions would create the way that crying would occur for his son.

I invite you to begin to see the health and wellness benefits of crying. To breakdown your context of tears being something other than the body freeing itself of an emotional response so that it doesn’t get stuck and create disease or pathology later in life. Our body is wise and if we allow it to have its natural processes the more freedom and joy we will have access to.

Until next season, Be Well.

Your Partner in Wellness,

Jennifer Stukey

As owner of Awaken Wellness, Jennifer holds a Master of  Acupuncture degree and a 660 hour Chinese Herbal Medicine Certificate from the Tai Sophia Institute. She is a Nationally Board Certified Acupuncturist and a Registered Yoga Teacher.  Jennifer’s Chinese Medicine practice focuses on Women’s Health. Her dedication is to helping women live a life of joy and ease.