Stress is widespread within modern societies. It is a contributing factor to, as well as the source of, many illnesses. In Oriental Medicine stress affects the flow of the liver organ's Qi.
The liver is important is because one of its functions is to maintain the smooth flow of Qi in the body. The root of many illnesses lies in the obstruction of the flow of Qi. For example, long periods of stress often cause tension to build in our shoulders and lower back, which leads to headaches, neck, shoulder and lower back pain.
When Qi energy stagnates in the body over a long period of time it can cause blood and other body fluids to collect. This is because Qi moves blood and other body fluids. If left untreated this can lead to the formation of masses such as fibrous cysts, uterine fibroids and lumps. If blood stagnates in the chest, the lungs and heart are affected. Different people will be affected in different ways.
People who are under a great deal of stress and are unable to manage this stress can become irritable and short-tempered. Everyday challenges can result in explosive behavior, such as losing one’s car keys and then flying off the handle. This is a sure sign that one is not coping with the situation. These imbalances inevitably affect other people and can lead to emotional tensions and general unhappiness. I cannot express the importance of managing stress to prevent illness. We are all affected by stress, and so is everyone we come into contact with when we are having difficulty coping.