In Chinese medicine the Liver is often associated with stress. This is because the Liver is in charge of the smooth flow of energy and the negative and constricting nature of life’s stresses and strains can cause it to stagnate.
In this fascinating talk about stress, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal explains that indeed, stress can constrict our arteries and cause us harm, but in fact it doesn’t have to. She explains how new research suggests that the way we view stress has a huge impact on our physical response to it. Furthermore, our body also provides its own antidote to the harmful effects of stress, in the form of oxytocin – the hormone that encourages us to seek and offer help to others.
Interestingly, Kelly also makes the link between stress and courage – probably the emotion most strongly associated with a balanced and healthy Liver in Acupuncture theory.