The Mind/Body Connection – left and right

October 31, 2009

left and right

In my Reiki blog, I mentioned my friend Elaine who is a wonderful reflexologist (so good, in fact, that she recently won the Student of the Year award at her college – well done, Elaine!). What I actually wrote was:

Prior to my website launch, I became quite stressed and noticed that this stress was being released through my body – but only on my right hand side (the masculine side, relating to business endeavours and ambition). I did not share this with Elaine, but after my next treatment she said to me ‘It’s very strange but all your problems seem to be on your right hand side’.

I’ve reflected on this a lot since then, and done some research on what the different sides of the body mean. I think for me personally that as well as the business connection, this also relates to the fact that I have been a lone parent for many years. Being a lone parent means that for much of the time you have to be both mum and dad to your child, and also means that you are running a household singlehandedly. Naturally this means that you regularly have to express ‘masculine’ qualities significantly more than you would if you were in a couple. Perhaps my right/left physical imbalance is an expression of the psychological and emotional imbalance created by me having to spend more time in my ‘masculine’ self than I would have ordinarily liked.

Another possibility is that my physical ailments are a reflection of the negative relationships I’ve had in the past. Or possibly – and more positively – the problems could be part of a healing process as I am now in a healthy relationship – which also means, of course, that I no longer have to overcompensate for the lack of masculine energy in my life.  (Interestingly, my partner has spent much of his adult life in traditionally ‘feminine’ roles – as primary carer of his son and  in his profession, caring for people with learning disabilities. Perhaps our combined energies are creating a balance for both of us. )

Do you find that your physical problems relate to one particular side of your body? Or perhaps you have, say, an inflamed knee on the right, indicating an issue relating to anger with a man in your life, and a rash on your left side indicating an issue around expressing the feminine quality of creativity. The book excerpt below gives a brief overview of this concept and may help you shed new light on your own physical ailments. (For more on this topic, check out my previous blogs on ‘The Mind/Body Connection.)

Left and Right Sides of the Body

by Debbie Shapiro

The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa – the nerves cross over between the head and the body. The left side of the brain is the logical, rational side, involved with daily work, assertiveness and decision-making, whereas the right brain is the creative and intuitive side, involved with home life, relationships, feeling and insight. This applies to the body, and particularly if one side of the body tends to get hurt more than the other side.

The right side of the body represents the masculine principle in both men and women. It is to do with the ability to give and to be dominant or assertive; it is the authoritative and intellectual part of our being; involved with the world and work, our job or function in society, finance and business, politics and power. It reflects the feelings you may have about being a man and functioning in a competitive world or maintaining the breadwinning role: or about being a woman and having to work or be assertive at the same time as being a nurturing mother. This side reflects your feelings towards your own masculinity or masculine qualities, as well as your relationships with men such as father, brother, husband or son, and any conflicts you may be experiencing in those relationships, or towards men in general.

The left side of the body represents the feminine principle in both men and women. It indicates the ability to ask for help, to receive, or to surrender; to nourish and care for others; to be tender and caring; to be creative and artistic; to listen to and trust our own wisdom. It is the inner world of the home and family, of healing and gentleness and nurturing. This includes how you feel about being a woman or expressing you feminine energy, especially in a male-dominated environment; or how you feel as a man connecting with the ability to be tender and loving, able to show more caring qualities. It also reflects your feelings about the females in your life, such as mother, sister, wife or daughter. Any conflict in these relationships, or towards women in general, may manifest on the left side.

Finding the right balance between these two energies is not easy. In the last fifty years we have seen a shift from women being the principal care-givers and men being the principal money-makers to women making up a major part of the workforce and men spending more time at home. A woman making the change from mother to careerperson may feel that she is going against her essential nature – having to work late when her child is coming home early from school, or dealing with hormonal changes while giving a presentation at a business meeting. The resulting stress isn’t just due to overwork. The same applies to men. As their role is changing they are confronting the problem of how to get in touch with their inner feelings. How can men find the tender, caring, nurturing part of their nature when society says they are meant to be assertive and aggressive? These issues touch on deep questions of how to define our essential nature, and how to develop differing sides of our personalities.

Your Body Speaks Your Mind: Understand the Link Between Your Emotions and Your Illnessby Debbie Shapiro



  1. Hello! I accidentally found your post while just typing “left right body imbalance” on Google. I did this as I have recently started wondering why do all my physical issues seem to be related to my right side of the body. This hasn’t always been like this. It is something which seems to have developped since a few years ago since I got married. The arguments in your post seem to make so much sens that I simply feel illuminated. Me and my husband, we love each other enourmously but he is the kind that does not get very much involved in household, so I do all the work: paying bills, shopping, small stuff repairing around the house etc. Additionally, we now have 15 mo old baby which adds up to my responsibilities. So your explanation as far as the right, masculine side is concerned makes soooo much sense. I am now thinking my right side is “overwhelmed” (sorry if my English is not perfect, I am Romanian and live in Romania) since I have all these issues: horrible skin acne breakouts on my right cheek, my right eye and lid have started to look as if they are “dropping” or constantly tired, i have more hair on my right leg (this is something that even my cosmetologist noticed). I have never been interested in alternative therapies so far, but this just makes so much sense. I would very much appreciate if you gave me some piece of advice. Where should I start with healing? inside and outside…there are not much people interested in holistic stuff in Romania so I don’t know what my chances are, but maybe you have some good tips for me.

    • Hi Zizi
      Thank you for your comment and sorry it’s taken me a while to respond – I haven’t visited this blog recently as I’ve been busy with other projects.
      So far as healing goes, it sounds like you’re halfway there – the first hurdle is recognising and understanding what your problem is (it’s amazing how many people’s issues remain at an unconscious level whilst simultaneously causing untold damage to their conscious life), so your awareness and insight that your physical problems relate to your current life situation means that you’ve already won half the battle.
      In so far as healing goes, you could do worse than begin by reading through the archives on this blog. There’s lots of good advice on here to help you with your personal and spiritual development, as well as links to other useful information. If you search the ‘mind-body connection’ on here, you should find lots more information about how our energy system works and how this impacts our physical wellbeing.
      Hope this helps, keep me posted 🙂
      Warmest wishes

      • Sharon thank you for your kind reply! I am browsing through your posts right now and will let you know on how things develop. Thanks again, Z.

  2. […] For more information see: the mindbody connection left and right […]

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