October 30, 2023
Nurturing Harmony: Embracing Chinese Medicine in working with Anxiety
A number of Meridians pass through our breasts – the Liver Meridian, Kidney Meridian, the Stomach Meridian and the Penetrating vessel. Our breast health is dependent on smooth flow of Qi and Blood through these Meridians and when there is a blockage of flow, breast disorder may result. This often can start manifesting as premenstrual breast distension and over time, may progress into serious breast diseases. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, there are a few ways in which we can support our own breast health via emotional management, diet, exercise and lifestyle.
Emotional dysregulation is one of the key factors in impeding the flow of Liver Qi, the Meridian of which runs through the breasts. What frequently happens is that unresolved, chronic or excessive emotions can damage or impair the Liver organ system, which does not have enough Qi flow to move the Blood and the Blood gets stuck, possibly stagnating in the breasts and creating nodules.
It is important not to repress our emotions or explosively release them in a reactive and unaware manner but rather, validate, appropriately express and accept our feelings and emotions. From a Five Element perspective, our emotions (joy, sympathy, grief, fear and anger) are all valid and required to ensure the flow of energy is smooth between all the Elements (organ systems).
Supporting the Liver organ system with an appropriate diet is useful in breast health and we want to consume foods and drinks that support the flow of Qi in the Liver and avoid those that don’t. In addition, where Liver Qi does not flow smoothly, Liver Heat can build up, further affecting the health of the Liver.
Supporting the Spleen/Stomach organ system is needed to help prevent the Liver from being imbalanced. It also reduces the creation of Dampness, which can result in Phlegm, a key factor in the development of breast masses.
Engaging in moderate exercise helps to move the Qi in the body. Qigong and Taichi are commonly used in Chinese culture to help regulate the smooth flow of Qi and Blood in the body.
Managing the amount of energy expended and preventing exhaustion, both physical and mental, before or during your period will help ensure adequate flow of Qi and Blood in the body. Where the flow is lacking, this may affect the flow of Qi and Blood in the Penetrating Vessel, which is a significant factor in contributing to breast masses.
If you need extra support with managing your breast health, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help, so please get in touch with us at Health in Flow Chinese Medicine in the Melbourne CBD.
Xiaolan, Z. (2007) Traditional Chinese Medicine for Women: Reflections of the Moon on Water, Virago Press, London.