Qi is the energy that flows in the body. It is said to aid in the movement of blood, lymph, nutrients and toxins into and out of the body. Nerve conduction, energy production, and cognitive awareness all depend on the presence of Qi.
When we feel pain, it is because there is a blockage to the flow of Qi in that part of our body. When you hurt yourself, you immediately hold and rub the hurt body part, which is an instinctual method of moving the Qi which had been blocked.
The Liver is the organ in charge of making sure all of the Qi in the body flows smoothly and in the correct manner and direction. The Liver is also in charge of filtering all of the toxins out of the blood and handling mental and emotional stress.
When we get too stressed out and emotional, our Liver is not able to keep our Qi flowing smoothly. In this way, stress causes a whole host of symptoms from headaches to indigestion, heartburn, chest pain, rib cage pain, back pain, shoulder blade pain, muscle tension, PMS, menstrual pain, breast tenderness, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), abdominal pain or even cancer. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cancer is just a stagnation of Qi, which then stagnates the blood and the Lymph (also referred to as 'Phlegm' in TCM). Qi stagnation, and specifically Liver Qi stagnation, is one of the root causes of most all diseases that afflict today's modern man and woman.
Why do we have so much Liver Qi Stagnation?
Due to our psychically strenuous lifestyle, poor diets, environmental toxins, poor sleeping pattern, and too much sitting all day, our Qi has become stagnant. Our Livers are overwhelmed by emotions and worries, lusts and desires, and physical stagnation.
We need to go on more hikes to move the blood and Qi. We need to go out into nature and breathe the fresh air, make healthier food choices, take a Qi gong or Yoga class, get a massage, try Acupuncture, rest in quiet contentment and gratitude for all that we have. These lifestyle changes can help soothe the agitation in our Liver and help us sleep better at night and be more happy and productive during the day. The Liver is vital to our health and wellness. We must take care of it, protect it, and nurture it back into a state of calm and comfort.
How can we know if we have Liver Qi stagnation?
Do you get angered easily? Do you have digestive problems? Do you frequently get headaches? Are you overly emotional? Do you cry easily? Does life seem to overwhelm you? Do you have a hard time letting go of your thoughts and worries?....
The list can go on, but if you said yes to any of these above questions, you have Liver Qi stagnation to some degree. Do not worry however because all humans on this planet have Live Qi Stagnation. Welcome to the human race. However, instead of just resigning ourselves to this fate, we can apply time-tested techniques to improve our mood, increase mental and muscular relaxation, and do the best that we can everyday to accept ourselves and the world we live in, unconditionally.
Perhaps you can stop watching or reading the news for a while. Focus on the things that make you happy and content, while choosing to ignore those things that irritate you. Smile both inwardly and outwardly. Be friendly to the people you meet on the street and you may be surprised how much better you feel. Try not to be in such a rush all the time. Slow down just a little bit. Allow certain things to not get done that day. Life will happen at a more human pace. Think of the 'Tortoise and the Hare'. Slow and steady wins the race. Fast and frantic burns you out.