We’re in the midst of the Water Tiger year which is certainly going to be one of change, chaos, and confrontation as we’re witnessing now (along with leaps in consciousness and innovations). I believe the liver energies (wood element) of anger, frustration, and speaking out will be more pronounced, so I want to share a simple qigong practice to navigate the potential chaotic energies of this year more effectively.

Wood Element/Liver:

There are 5 elements in Chinese medicine/medical qigong: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element has associated organs, emotions, foods, seasons, and attributes, and we use these elements for healing and connecting with the rhythms of nature within our body.

The wood element is associated with the liver and gallbladder. To understand the wood element, think of the qualities of spring: germination, new growth, hope, and unimpeded potential. There’s a longing, like waiting for the first flowers to blossom. The energy can’t be rushed and must be honored with patience, like witnessing a seedling tenderly emerging from the earth. This is the season of spring with new beginnings, creativity, and visioning.

The liver is the yin organ of the wood element. In Chinese medicine, it controls the blood and the smooth flow of Qi throughout our body. It’s very important in women’s health because we are connected to our blood through our menstruation and later in post menopause, it nourishes the heart, joints, and whole body. The liver also regulates the hormones, that are associated with the eyes along with our inner sight and personal soul’s destiny.

The emotions and attributes of the liver and wood element are flexibility, patience, innocence, gentleness, generosity vs frustration, anger, suffocation, passive-aggressive behavior, and depression.

When imbalanced in this element you may feel spacey, unable to ground yourself with difficulty creating emotional boundaries. Physically you may experience dizziness, vertigo, digestive issues, allergies, PMS, high blood pressure, joint pain, migraines as well as overall stress.

If you use this energy well, you make healthy decisions that separate you from what’s toxic, and you can set boundaries easily, knowing when to let go and be yielding and patient. This energy imbues us with the willingness to grow upward and outward into expression.

When you practice liver qigong, you’re nourishing the faith within your spirit that is necessary for germination and beginnings, to lift you up toward potential, as a plant reaches for the sun to become itself. Your body/mind becomes pliable, bending and yielding to the wind yet strong and durable. With a healthy wood element, you’re grounded, flexible, strong with clear qi, carrying seeds of new life and flowing naturally with cycles of nature/time.

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