About Lynn

lynn jaffeeLynn Jaffee is a licensed acupuncturist and the author of the book, Simple Steps: The Chinese Way to Better Health, a clear and concise explanation of Chinese medicine for the lay person. She is co-author of the book, The BodyWise Woman, a personal health manual for physically active women and girls. Read more about Lynn...

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Politics, Anger, and Liver Stagnation

The election is over, and apparently the voters have spoken. According to the media, they’ve expressed their outrage at the way things are going. Really? Outrage?

When I hear statements in the press or on TV about the anger of the American voters, I immediately think, “There are a lot of people out there with some serious Liver stagnation.” As always my mission is to put things into the context of Chinese medicine, and I love explaining the theory behind rage, anger, and outrage.

In Chinese medicine, all of the organ systems are associated with an emotion. While this may seem far-fetched, consider two things:

  • The Chinese organs have a physical presence, but are also considered to be a system of functioning, so they also have energetic and symbolic significance, too. 
  • We know intuitively that our organs are assoicated with emotions. That’s why we have terms like “heart felt” and “heart broken”, as well as “having a lot of gall”, “butterflies in your stomach”, or “having a gut feeling”.

We we talk about anger, we’re talking about the Chinese liver. Yes, in Western medicine, your liver filters blood. In Chinese medicine it is also associated with the nutritional quality of your blood. But it is also responsible for regulating the smooth flow of everyting in your body, and good health is all about smooth movement. Like sap gently rising in a tree, your digestion, blood, muscles, menstrual cycles–and even your emotions–need to flow gently, too.

When your emotions don’t flow gently, they get out of control, and your Chinese Liver stagnates. This means that you’re stuck emotionally, which beyond the anger, can also cause depression, irritibility, and even restlessness and insomnia. The most common cause of those stuck emotions is something the Chinese call unfulfilled desires. Though that may sound sexual, unfulfilled desires are more about whether or not you’re living your life in a way that you want. This is aggravated in three ways:

  • First, the greater the difference between your life as it is and the life that you want, the greater the opportunity for your liver to stagnate. 
  • Also, those people who stuff their emotions and don’t express their feelings are more likely to be stuck emotionally.  
  • Finally, those who are dissatisfied with the circumstances of their lives, but don’t do anything to change their situation are also at risk for health problems related to liver stagnation.

This election has been so fraught with anger and ill-feeling that it’s time for a little flow. So if the political landscape in America is not to your liking, then yeah, I suppose anger is one way to go–just know however, that it’s stagnating your liver.

1 comment to Politics, Anger, and Liver Stagnation

  • […] Acupuncture Health Insights: Another true blue. Lynn Jaffee can always find a way to bring everything back to the chinese medicine perspective. This time, she takes the media’s description of “outraged voters” and relates it to liver stagnations. Jaffee discuses how anger and rage are deeply related to liver function. Read on to see the connection. […]