Liver Qi stagnation (LQS) is something we experience when we’re annoyed, frustrated, stressed or our dreams are blocked, and this is because one of the most important functions of the Liver is maintaining the smooth flow of Qi, (and emotions are part of this) which makes the Liver really vulnerable to stress and frustration which can quickly ‘constrain’ and stagnate the flow of its Qi.
When Qi is constrained it makes people feel irritable, and as Liver Qi is important for “the smooth flow” of energy (which also affects how substances and hormones flow), when it becomes disrupted it can alter a woman’s cycle and a man’s ability to sexually perform. The path of the Liver channel passes through the lower abdomen and around the genitals (and ovaries), and this increases the likelihood of LQS disrupting the timing of ovulation or an embryo’s transport along a fallopian tube. For men stress can have a major effect on his ability to create and maintain an erection, and in many ways sex is closely linked to Liver energy; good sex helps to move the Liver Qi, but LQS can impede a man’s function.
Qi movement is essential for health and when the flow of Liver Qi is impeded it tends to affect how the other systems in the body function. The Liver is a bit like an upset child that goes round beating up the other kids when it’s unhappy, rather than looking sad and needing support. This means that LQS can disrupt the energy flow of the lungs (stress induced asthma), the heart (stress induced palpitations), the digestion (heartburn and IBS) and the kidneys (cystitis) as well as unbalance the immune system, fluid movement and hormone levels. Liver Qi stagnation also has a tendency to generate heat which over time can cause headaches, tinnitus and eye problems, but as far as getting pregnant is concerned the main issues are:
- Thyroid conditions i
- Irregular periods and period pain
- Digestive problems like IBS or even anorexia, which can stop periodsii
- Imbalances of the immune system
Liver Qi stagnation (LQS) is usually an energetic response to a person’s thwarted plans and ambitions; no matter how well someone copes on the outside, your energy inside is still affected, and when your progress through life gets annoying, frustrating, blocked or broken it affects how a person feels, the flow of their energy stutters, sticks and then rushes forwards in uncontrolled ways and this creates physical and emotional disharmony:
“[If] the mind’s desires are not satisfied, the Liver Qi [becomes] depressed [and] bound”
To be ‘most fertile’ requires
i ‘Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine’ Vol. III. W. Maclean, J Lyttleton. p.795. Pangolin Press, 2010
ii ‘Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine’ Vol. II. W. Maclean, J Lyttleton. p.158. University of Western Sydney, 2002
iii From “Statements of Fact in Traditional Chinese Medicine” by Bob Flaws. ISBN 0-936185-52-X