PMS, Infertility, and Libido

Stagnant Liver qi is a very common diagnosis in the U.S. It is also commonly associated with PMS, infertility, and low libido. Stagnation may occur through prolonged sitting and also lack of exercise, as well as through prolonged emotional frustration.


Breast tenderness and irritability are a failure of Liver qi to flow smoothly along the border of the diaphragm just below the breasts. The Liver governs smooth movement of qi as well as menstrual blood. Moving the diaphragm freely with deep and smooth breathing mobilizes the qi that stagnates from poor posture and excessive sitting, both of which cause shallow breathing. Cardiovascular exercise is such a great stress-reducer in part because it gets that stagnation of the diaphragm moving again, initiating the smooth flow of Liver qi.


Infertility can result from failure of qi to nourish the reproductive organs. Handwork on your abdomen facilitates the flow of this important nourishing qi to all the viscera. For a reminder of how to do this handwork, read my article from August 2013 entitled “This Self-Care Tip Helps Remove the Root of Disease”. Stretching and exercise also promote movement where qi has been stagnating. Eating whole foods and avoiding processed ones is another important strategy for supporting healthy flow of your vital energy. And, of course, acupuncture!


For both men and women, libido can become challenged as we age. The depletion of Kidney qi on which Liver qi depends can compromise the upward rising qi that is necessary for libido. Moderate exercise, like qi gong, healthy diet, and acupuncture are effective.