The Liver, Stress, and Breast Cancer

Your Liver’s job is to keep the flow of blood, Qi, and emotions running smoothly. This is not an easy task when it’s continually bombarded by new challenges.

The Effect of Poor Liver Function

Poor Liver function can show up in your emotions as anger, rage, depression, stress, frustration, irritability, or nervous tension. If you have poor Liver function, you might also have difficulty letting things go. Even though the things you think about may have occurred long ago, you still allow them to consume your Qi.

A poorly functioning Liver can have a profound effect on your whole body, especially organs with which it shares a partnership, like the Stomach or the Heart. To regain balance, you must lessen your stress. Stress is an energy vibration that goes right to your Liver. Here, it can cause or aggravate many problems—from migraine headaches to high blood pressure to insomnia to menstrual and digestive problems.

Stress is more than a daily annoyance or burden. It can create the root cause of life-threatening conditions.

TCM views the high incidence of breast cancer in Western society as Liver Qi stagnation caused by prolonged stress and emotional excess—mainly anger and overthinking.

During the fourteenth century, a famous Chinese physician, Dr. Dan Qi Zhu based his own theories on the work of the Nei Jing. His Dan Qi Xin Fa  discusses breast cancer this way: “Because the wife does not enjoy a good relationship with her husband, nor does she enjoy good relationships with family members and others, then chronic anger, depression, worry, and nervousness will accumulate in her day by day. This condition, if left unchecked, will cause a Spleen Qi or ‘digestive system’ disorder, as well as a Liver Qi stagnation. Eventually this will cause a small lump within the breast that causes no pain and no itchiness. Many years later, this lump will turn into a different shape (much like a craggy rock with many holes) which is called ‘yan,’ or cancer.”

Energy Transformed Into Mass

When Qi or energy stagnates in the meridians, a small seed can progress to a cancerous mass over time. Energy literally becomes transformed into matter. Then, the five major organs begin to spiral out of balance. When Qi does not flow freely through the meridians and the organs have fallen out of balance, the body is too weak to defend itself from internal or external pathogens.

Building Good Health

The time to prevent illness or disease is when your Qi is strong enough to fend off these pathogens. When it comes to staying healthy, there are no quick fixes. Good health is built minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day. This is a joyful process of understanding that you have a unique place in the world and a unique mission you were born to accomplish. Having optimum health can make your spiritual journey a deeply rewarding one.

Excerpted from Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Woman’s Guide to a Hormone-Free Menopause by Nan Lu, OMD with Ellen Schaplowsky

Learn More

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