What’s flowing down the river to your liver? How emotions affect energy flow and physical health.

Jun 7, 2022 | Blog, Emotions, Five Elements, Happiness, Liver, Qigong, Spring | 9 comments

Most of you know that positive thoughts tend to bring more positive things into your life and negative thoughts can bring more of what you don’t want. This is how energy works. Energy flows where your attention goes. But did you know that your thoughts can not only control the flow of energy but also the quality of that energy?

How does your garden grow?

Imagine a small stream, perhaps a spring stream from snow run-off. You have a stick and you drag it through the earth to make another channel of water diverting off the main stream. You’re re-directing and controlling the flow. You can drag your stick towards the street or towards your flower bed. If you make a channel to the street, the water follows onto the street, not doing much good, and in fact, may cause problems washing mud onto the street and depleting water from areas that may need it. If you direct the channel towards your flower bed, you will be blessed with beautiful healthy flowers! The flow of water is dependent on your intention! The same principle applies to energy. There is abundant energy in the universe (energy cannot be created, only transformed). Your intentions direct the flow of energy.

You can direct the energy to support you or to make things worse.

There are many examples of this. Positive thoughts will direct energy in a positive way. You notice how beautiful a flower is; you easily notice more beauty around you. You think about how someone makes you angry; you easily come up with many reasons why this person irritates you. Like attracts like.

This principle also applies to our health. When you think in a happy positive way, you direct the energy flow in a way that will help you to heal and balance. If you think in a negative way, the energy follows and makes congestion.

Emotions not only direct the flow of energy, but they also affect the quality of that energy.

Positive thoughts create an alkaline environment which is healthy for the cells; negative emotions create an acidic environment which creates a breeding ground for illness, disease, and encourages the reproduction of unhealthy cells.

Meridians are invisible energy channels in the body. There are 12 meridians in the body. Each meridian flows from a specific organ. Every meridian has an internal pathway that connects to other organs and areas of the body and an external pathway that connects to the skin.

Let’s look at the liver meridian. The liver (and gallbladder) is the organ associated with the Wood Element (according to Five Element Theory of Chinese Medicine) which is associated with the season of Spring. Each element has emotions associated with it.

The positive emotion of the wood element is happiness.

Thinking happy thoughts can help the liver energy channel stay open and help support the liver itself. If you are constantly frustrated or angry, you will cause congestion in the liver and gallbladder, or potentially a blockage along the liver meridian. If anger goes deep, it can cause damage to the heart and even cause a heart attack.

The flow of energy along the liver meridian is as follows (see diagram). The external flow of the liver meridian begins on the inside of the big toe and flows along the top of the foot, then up in the inside of the leg, through the abdomen and ends between the sixth and seventh ribs. The channel then moves inwards and flows through the liver and gallbladder, stomach, and lungs. It then makes its way up the neck, to the eyes, and all the way to the top of the head (not shown and hard to find in literature!!). This channel runs the entire length of the body! The symptoms of a blockage in energy flow can be experienced in any one of the areas the meridian passes through, including problems with vision! (Each meridian is bilateral.)

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In acupuncture and acupressure, the liver meridian and the liver points are often used to relieve eye strain, headaches, and digestive complaints.

Getting back to my original point, if emotions can control the flow and the type of energy, then anger and frustration can cause blockages in any part of the body the liver meridian runs, including the eyes and can be a major cause of vision or eye problems.

Now that I have shown you the backstory of emotions, elements, seasons, and meridians, let’s simplify things. If you have a lot of anger and frustration in your life, you can cause congestion and damage to many areas of the body, including your eyesight. You can also bring toxins and toxic energy up to your head. This can affect your decision-making process!

If your liver is congested, 70 percent of the toxins remain in the body.

Many important energy systems are related to the liver (lymph, immune, pancreas, spleen). You may notice lymph nodes in your neck and under your arm become swollen for a period of time, then they disappear. When the liver is congested, the lymph kicks in to help you protect your other organs and holds these toxins.

By letting go of anger and putting on a smile, you can open up channels, allowing a nice alkaline flow of energy to nurture and nourish your flowerbed. You will see the good things that flow back to you! Find things that make you happy. Think about happy things.

Springtime makes so many people naturally feel happy.

Here, in my beautiful rural setting in north-central Alberta, Canada, the sights and sounds of spring intoxicate me. Two weeks ago there were Mayday blossoms, last week there were apple blossoms, and today there are lilac blossoms. I picked some lilacs last night and brought them inside. I could smell them all night and now as I write, I am getting brilliant hints of lavender-coloured bliss wafting in my window and up my stairs. Also, there are so many beautiful bird and frog sounds singing to me all day long. These things make me smile. When we smile, we are conducting positive energy flow in our bodies helping us to heal! If you do not have these happy natural smells and sounds, or if they don’t resonate with you, find the things that make you smile and feel good inside.

When anger presents itself, and it will, it’s a natural emotion and feeling that is there for our survival, do the following:

-Take three deep breaths
-Smile (as Master Lin, founder of Spring Forest Qigong says: SMILE stands for Start My Internal Love Engine!)
-Think of the things that make you happy
-Feel that positive flow of emotion in your body
-Be grateful and thank Mother Earth and your mother
-If possible, step outside and connect with nature
-Have a drink of water

This will help you keep your liver and gallbladder healthy and happy, improve your eyesight, improve detoxification, help with aches and pains in the joints and tendons, help your digestion, alleviate headaches, balance hormones, and so many other wonderful things!

How is energy flowing into your garden these days? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

The Five Elements Qigong Practice can help shift your emotions to positive ones as the movements heal and open up the energy channels in the body for smooth and harmonious flow. If you are interested, I have an online qigong community that practices together each week!

Love and light,

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Sue Crites, MSc, NSP
Energy Healing and Qigong



  1. Julia

    Great article. Thanks.

    • Sue Crites

      You’re welcome Julia! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. William Russell

    Hi Sue a wonderful article, about qi gong, energy and energy flow. It is amazing how many areas can can affected by the liver and and gall-bladder meridian. Plus a excellent reminder on staying positive and happy. I can say I bounce back from both anger and frustration quickly, but doesn’t mean that no damage is done. Having practices that focused on daily, enjoyment, and peace are a much more sure-fire way to avoid it in the first place. Just paying attention to just how much we smile each day can be a good indication. I also love to smile, it can mean so many different things, S. Share. M. Myself. I.In. L.Life. E. Everyday….I cant recommend your on-line class enough, your easily get more then your money is worth, I am honored to be part of it. Blessing and gratitude….Iam Will

    • Sue Crites

      Thank you for your comments Will! Paying attention is really what it’s all about, isn’t it? I love your acronym for SMILE! I am glad you are enjoying Energy in Motion. It’s a fun place to hangout!

  3. Ellen

    Such a lovely explanation! Thank you!

  4. Mei Lian

    Thank you. How does one overcome uncontrollable grief? It’s impossible to think positive thoughts when it overwhelming. Looking for advice.

    • Sue Crites

      Hello Mei, You can start by acknowledging the grief. Sitting with it. And trying to see how the grief isn’t you. The Spring Forest Qigong movements of Connecting to your Body’s Energy or Breathing of the Universe and focusing on Contentment can help to heal grief. Also helpful is finding and noticing contentment as you move through your day. And if there is something you know makes you feel content, do more of that. Contentment helps to heal grief. Also speaking with a professional therapist or counsellor may also be helpful. You might also benefit from a private energy healing session with me. Contact me any time at sue@suecrites.ca. Best wishes to you.

  5. Cathy C

    Sue, I am so appreciative of your wisdom . I have benefited from Chinese medicine as my primary firm of health care (acupuncture , herbs , lifestyle modifications ) for almost 20 years so I am familiar with the concepts you share . However you have a way of putting it all together that helps me understand it in a much deeper way . Very impactful wisdom. Thank you for taking the time to pull all these pieces together and share with us . With gratitude , Cathy

    • Sue Crites

      Thank you so much Cathy! I appreciate you that!


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