Stuck Qi and the Holidays

So, here we are. It’s 2021, fourth quarter, and we have seen and been through a lot. We’re experts in self-care by this point, right?

The holidays bring merriment as well as stress. Caring for ourselves as we head into the holiday season means ensuring healthy qi flow.

Qi (“chee”) is the natural functioning of our body systems. For example, lung qi is breathing, stomach qi is digesting, and heart qi is pumping blood. Where there is free flow, there is healthy qi and we have a heart that quietly circulates blood throughout the body, lungs that inhale and exhale smoothly, and a stomach that processes the food we eat to provide fuel for our everyday life. When qi no longer flows freely it has become stuck or stagnant, and this often results in pain and emotional fluctuations as well as other symptoms.

Seasonal contributors to stuck qi can include:

  • stress of social gatherings
  • overeating rich heavy food
  • excessive alcohol intake
  • challenging feelings associated with the time of year


…which might manifest as:

  • irritability
  • depression
  • anger
  • abdominal bloating
  • ribside pain
  • sighing
  • palpitations
  • chest oppression
  • a sensation like there’s lump in your throat
  • muscle tension

Ways to combat all of these symptoms of stuck qi include:

  • Incorporating regular movement or exercise into your holiday plans. Stretch, do some yoga in your living room, take a pilates class, or take a walk in your neighborhood.
  • De-stressing in your favorite way. Get some fresh air, give your animal companion some pets, cook a special dish, meditate, have a cup of tea, make something handmade.
  • Donating your time and resources to those in need
  • Putting heat on any areas of muscle tension or pain, or taking a bath with Epsom salts

One of the best methods for combating stuck qi for thousands of years is acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Make an investment in your well-being this holiday season by booking your appointment early.

Joanna Willis, L.Ac.