If you are a healer, it can prove helpful to have an understanding of the Chinese energetic healing theory and the associated harmful emotions that can be related to each organ, both from a diagnostic and therapeutic perspective. For example, anger is associated with the liver, and grief with the lungs. If you are someone interested in improving your health and well-being, then this information is for you as well.
Spring is the time of year associated with our liver energy, and our health in spring is influenced by the health of our liver and the energy it provides. When our liver energy is balanced in spring, we feel uplifted with a sense of inner ‘softness and kindness’. When the liver is out-of-balance, a ‘revved-up and restless’ feeling — inside and out — is common.
From a western perspective, the physical liver is a very important organ that stores blood, processes toxins and poisons, and aids in our overall immunity. However, from the perspective of the Chinese healing arts, the liver has a far greater influence and responsibility.
The liver is a very important organ. It has a major influence on a person’s overall well-being, as it is responsible for the smooth and effective dispersal of life force (Qi) throughout the body. When something blocks this energy flow throughout the body, the liver gets agitated, which can cause a variety of different symptoms often referred to as, Liver Qi Stagnation.
If the liver Qi is already somewhat blocked, these symptoms will manifest and flare more strongly this time of year as spring approaches, as we put additional strain on our liver Qi. Some of the most common symptoms of stagnant liver Qi include the following: headaches, particularly migraines; PMS and menstrual cramping; tight shoulders; depression; anger; frustration and irritability.
Our nervous system also reflects the health of our liver and, in our society, one of the most common causes of stuck liver Qi is stress, particularly stress that is chronic, extreme, or unexpressed.
When this happens, our liver is constantly being challenged and our energy flow continually impeded. It gets more and more difficult to undo the damage. And the more stuck our energy becomes, the more easily stress affects us — and so it becomes a vicious cycle.
Also, the liver stores the blood and aids in the circulation of Qi and blood; it regulates tendons, ligaments and muscles and its health reflects in our ability for flexibility and movement. It affects many parts of the body, including our nails, eyes and our emotions. When the liver is in good health, kindness, benevolence, compassion and love are more easily expressed.
Working to improve the functioning of the liver system is in your best interest. With a free flowing liver system, your joints will be smooth, your eyes bright, and the energy in your body (both physical and emotional) will flow freely. Liver Qi Stagnation in particular, is a very common imbalance found in our modern western society. Being aware of the more mild signs of the imbalance and working now to correct them can avoid more serious issues later and help us to live better in the present.
So what can we do to keep that liver flowing smoothly in the face of all of our everyday life stresses? Apart from diet, one of the best ways to get the energy moving is to move. Different types of exercise are better for different people. Some people’s constitutions do really well with vigorous exercise. Other people are much more suited to slower, gentler forms of movement such as yoga, walking, or Tai Chi. I have personally found QiGong to be exceptionally beneficial and can wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.
Spring does not last forever. Use its bountiful energy wisely, so that the crops you sow — again, with yourself, in your work, and in your life — are those you wish to harvest.
Please join us for the class, QiGong Calm, which is a rejuvenating class to be held at The Aetherius Society on Saturday, March 10. I will teach simple exercises for everyone and the class will be rejuvenating and help you feel ready for the energies of spring. For further details, please see The Aetherius Society’s ad.
Gary is an experienced teacher of QiGong and a QiGong Therapist using Wai Qi Liao Fa. He’s trained with Daoist/Buddhist Masters in yoga and the healing arts. An international teacher/author, he was a disciple of Dr. George King, Founder of The Aetherius Society, for over 20 years, and supports Dr. King’s work at The Aetherius Society, Royal Oak, Michigan.