What Happens to Our Qi When We Eat Processed Foods?

Beth Quist, Guest Writer
Waking Times

What happens to our Qi if we eat a lot of processed foods?  Processed foods usually includes more preservatives, chemicals, fats, fillers, and sugars than other foods.  As a result, our body has to spend a lot of its energy and effort, not only to digest the food, but to break it down and get rid of what the body doesn’t need.  Most of this additional work is done in the liver and the liver can’t process all of it. The result is Qi getting stuck and stagnant in the liver.  In Chinese Medicine this is known as  “Liver Qi Stagnation”.  Liver Qi Stagnation is a prolific problem in the United States and is often the root cause of many health problems, such as:

  • Anger disorders
  • Moodiness
  • Depression
  • Menstrual disorders – PMS, pain, endometriosis, almost all menstrual disorders have a liver component
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Headaches – all kinds
  • Muscle weakness and problems
  • Eye and vision problems

What is challenging about Liver Qi Stagnation is how these same health issues will contribute to even more Qi stagnation which then leads to even more health problems.


  • But we can reverse Liver Qi Stagnation, and with it, reverse many of the health problems associated with it. We have the ability to purge the stagnant Qi from our liver and then get our liver Qi to flow.  The result is improved health. Here are some techniques all of us can use to help keep our Qi flowing and reverse the effects of Liver Qi Stagnation.

    First – Purge the Stagnant Qi and Get Our Qi Flowing
    We can use sound and its vibration to help purge the stagnant Qi and get it moving.  Couple the use of sound with some Qigong exercises and this will help get Qi to flow.  The sound of “Shoooo is the sound for the liver.  Here are some links to get more information on sound meditation.

    For some, herbs may also help resolve purge and move liver Qi stagnation, such as milk thistle or the chinese herb Xiao Yao Wan.

    Second, Get Our Qi Moving and Keep it Flowing
    Doing daily Qigong or Tai Chi exercises helps make sure the Qi keeps moving. Here are some Qigong exercises that can help get the Qi flowing and keep it moving.

    Third, Change the Major Problem Source – Our Diet
    To improve the flow of Qin in our liver and reduce Qi stagnation, we need to eliminate processed foods from our eating habits.  We need to eat more veggies and fruits. Here’s the list what to reduce or eliminate in our diet to improve the Qi in our liver:

    • Reduce or eliminate sugar and corn syrup
    • Reduce or eliminate soda pop
    • Reduce or eliminate dairy
    • Don’t eat meats where hormones and chemicals are used on the animal
    • Reduce or eliminate chemicals and preservatives (processed and fast foods)

    Eat more of these foods. These foods move liver Qi:

    • Vegies – especially beans, beets, collards, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, radishes, turnips, watercress
    • Fruits – especially grapefruit, lemon, lime, kumquat, plum, tangerine
    • Spices – especially anise, basil, bay, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cilantro, curry, fennel, ginger, mint, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, vanilla

    Fourth, Improve Our Sleep Habits
    Sleep helps our body’s processes continue to work smoothly.  A good nights sleep is imperative to having good health. To improve our sleep, we need to make sure we sleep in a pitch black dark environment.  For those of us who can’t do this, we may want to explore using dark satin eye patches.

    Also, we need to make sure we don’t eat before going to bed. Eating before bed affects our dream state and also puts a heavier burden on our liver as well as all organs used in food digestion and processing.

    In addition, we should keep a consistent sleep schedule, as this also helps improve our ability to sleep and go into a deep sleep.

    Finally, Reduce Other Toxins and Increase Exposure to Clean Vibrant Qi
    We need to be aware of what chemicals are in our environment. This will help us to take corrective actions to reduce or eliminate unnecessary exposure to chemicals. Besides knowing what we are eating, drinking, and breathing, we should take a look at the ingredients we place on our skin, hair, and nails. There may be deodorants and skin products we are introducing into our body and hence, our liver, through our skin. This may be contributing to Qi stagnation.

    We already know teflon causes cancer, so we should remove teflon pans from the tool we cook with. We also know plastics have a way of getting into our body, too, so reducing how we use plastics needs to be assessed, too.

    Also, it will help if we spend more time in nature.  Nature is a wonderful source of natural and vibrant Qi Allowing more opportunities to be in the outdoors can help nourish our body, mind, and spirit and help with healing.

    Will We Need Additional Help?
    If we continue to have symptoms from liver Qi stagnation (such as depression, anger issues, mood disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, or menstrual problems) and these symptoms are not getting resolved, the problems may progress to even more serious health concerns. The more serious health problems from liver Qi stagnation may develop into muscle weakness, pain, migraines, chronic fatigued, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, tumors, as well as eye issues. If this happens, in addition to the usual treatments we receive via Western Medicine, we also need to more acutely pay attention to our liver Qi. For example, we can supplement our health and wellness journey with Acupuncture and/or Qigong medical treatments from a practitioner. A practitioner, in many cases, can partner with us to help us reach and maintain an improved state of health and wellness we may not be able to achieve on your own.

    About the Author

    Beth Quist is an RN and a Medical Qigong Therapist trained in both Western and Eastern Medicine. You can read more about using Qigong to improve your health and empower yourself with wellness at http://QigongbyQuist.com, or “Like” on Facebook, or follow on Twitter, https://twitter.com/qigongbyquist.

    This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

    ~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…