The Liver is the organ system that is responsible for circulating the Blood as well as the body’s energy, called Qi (“chee”) around the body. When either the Blood flow or the Qi flow becomes impeded in any way, the Blood and the Qi become stagnant and the result is pain and disease. There is a Chinese saying, “Where there is stagnation, there is pain and where there is pain, there is stagnation.” The Liver’s main focus is to move and to circulate in order to avoid stagnation.
Many things can impede the flow of Qi and Blood. Stress is probably the most common in our society. When we become stressed, our body tenses up. Maybe our chest tightens or our stomach ties into a knot or our shoulders start to lift up to our ears or our breathing becomes shallow or we overeat or hold our emotions in. All of these things stop the natural flow of Blood and Qi. Some of the possible effects of these stress reactions I listed above may include: heart palpitations, indigestion, headaches, dizziness, obesity, road-rage. Those are some serious consequences all stemming from a stagnation of Qi and Blood.
The Liver also regulates the menstruation because of its important role in storing and circulating the Blood. PMS symptoms are most often a signal that there is stagnation. If you experience irritability, crying, headaches, or cramps, then you can be sure that the Liver is stagnant in some way. In a healthy state, the body has a natural inclination to expand. When we are stressed out or experiencing PMS, the body begins to contract.
Reduce Stress by:
1. Deep breathing. Either do it intuitively or find a Pranayama class (an ancient form of breath work originating from India)
2. Exercise vigorously. Most people feel better after a good workout.
3. Sigh. That’s right, inhale deeply and let out a sigh, it softens and relaxes the Liver.
4. Everyone’s favorite: have an orgasm.