Liver Blood Stasis
sometimes called
'Stagnation' of Liver Blood

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This - Liver Blood Stasis - sometimes looks rather like Liver Qi stagnation, not least because if Liver Qi Stagnation goes on for too long, Qi will stop moving. What happens then?

Because Qi is said (in Chinese medicine) to move Blood, the Blood stops moving too. Then you have this syndrome of stagnation or stasis of Liver Blood.

So one can lead to the other, and to treat it you must also, and first, treat Liver Qi Stagnation.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of Liver Blood Stagnation are usually more severe than those of Liver Qi Stagnation.

Symptoms of Liver Blood Stasis

  • Main Pain locations: abdomen, flanks, breasts, side of ribs, groin
  • Type of pain: fixed, boring, stabbing or distending
  • Often sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Nose bleeds
  • Vomiting blood

In women:

  • Dysmenorrhoea – painful before but particularly during periods (though it can occur at other times too)
  • Mood: depressed, irritable, can be violent
  • Irregular periods
  • Scanty periods
  • Haemorrhages or periods which drag on for ages
  • Blood of menses is dark, purple and often clotted


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  • Breasts swell and are painful, especially during periods
  • Masses can be palpated in the abdomen. These masses don’t move around: they are fixed in their location
  • Complexion: dark, dusky
  • Note that there may be tumours or growths, and masses which are hard and immobile on palpation both in the abdomen and elsewhere.
  • Tongue: purple colour, purple distended veins on the underside of the tongue: may be bluish on sides of tongue. Tongue coating, normal or thick
  • Pulse: wiry or choppy
  • The Key feature is the dark, clotted menstrual blood and the purple colour of the tongue.

Aetiology of Liver Blood Stasis

Stagnation of Liver qi over a long period is nearly always the cause. In traditional Chinese medicine, (very different from Western medicine!) Blood moves only because Qi moves it. If there isn’t enough Qi to move it because the Qi is stagnant, then the Blood will stagnate too.

Since the cause of Stagnant Liver Qi is nearly always emotional, in particular anger or frustration, it is these emotions, held over a long time that are the root cause of Stagnant Liver Blood.

An ancillary cause is sometimes that, because of prolonged Qi Stagnation, the whole system has slowed down, and there isn't enough Qi, and what little there is is stagnating. So sometimes it is necessary to help the body make more Qi, but clearing the Stagnation of Qi comes first.

Having said all that, I have treated some women with Liver Blood Stasis where there was not only an emotional cause, but an inherited tendency (ie the mother and even the grandmothers had it) AND there had been an ectopic pregnancy and various operations. 

Surgery almost always causes Blood Stasis which, when added to Qi stagnation, makes Liver Blood stasis more likely.

In this case, when treating painful periods, there is more to be done than just ease Liver Qi stagnation, important though that is. One must also adjust what is called Chong Mo, which looks after the way the membranes inside you protect and support your inner organs.

Treatment of Stagnant Liver Blood

First the Stagnant Liver Qi must be dispersed so that Liver Qi flows smoothly, then the Blood must be regulated. Acupuncture is usually very effective for this and so are Chinese herbs. 

Find an Acupuncturist!

If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.

If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.

Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott Books

Please note! The Kindle editions are less easy to read! Although the paper editions cost more, they are much easier to read and to refer back and forth to the contents and index. 

Here are some of the books Jonathan has written:

Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress

Yin Deficiency - Burnout and Exhaustion

Yang Deficiency - Get Your Fire Burning Again!

Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine

3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!

By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.

For the Latest Reviews of 'Qi Stagnation', click here!

NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.

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