A Little More About The Ups And Downs Of Qi

Yesterday I posted about the flow and direction of qi, and I'd like to expand on this just a bit more today. I have explained that there needs to be a certain flow throughout the body of qi, and when this flow's direction is impeded, issues arise. In my last blog I discussed the symptoms that can occur when there is an imbalance of qi between the upper and lower halves of the body; today I would like to discuss the direction of the qi which flows from each organ. In Chinese medicine, we often see issues of "rebellious qi." Quite simply, this situation comes up when the qi refuses to go in the direction it is meant to. Each organ sends out its qi in a pathway which allows it to circulate throughout the body. If this pathways isn't followed, numerous health problems will crop up.

The Stomach sends its qi in a downward direction. In a normal, healthy situation, this means that it is sending the food down into the intestines, to be broken down further. However, if the Stomach qi is rebellious, the qi rises rather than sinks. This leads to hiccuping, belching, nausea, and vomiting. If there is Heat in the Stomach, it may lead to heartburn as well.

The Liver energy is meant to flow upward; however, excessive upward flow may lead to headaches, irritability, and dizziness. This Liver qi often surges into the Stomach or Spleen, rather than moving up into its intended direction. If the qi goes to the Stomach, it will result in belching, nausea, or vomiting. If it goes to the Spleen, diarrhea may result. Diarrhea alternating with constipation is a common complaint of patients who have an imbalance in their Liver and Spleen energy.

The Lung qi is meant to flow downward; if it goes up, the patient will develop a cough or asthma. The Kidney and Lung are closely related in Chinese medicine; if the Kidney energy is directed upward, it will also lead to asthma.

Heart qi has a downward direction, and rebellious Heart qi leads to insomnia, mental restlessness, and agitation.