Function of the liver in Chinese medicine
Spring corresponds to the Wood element, the color green, and the organ of the liver. The liver is in charge of filtration, detoxification, regulation of chemicals in the blood, and storage of vitamins and minerals. In addition to these functions there are also the energetic, emotional and spiritual aspects of the liver in Chinese medicine.
The liver stores the blood which flows into the Conception vessel and Penetrating vessels (extraordinary vessels important in a woman’s cycle) to become menstrual blood. The liver is therefore responsible for the smooth flow of menstruation.
The liver blood is important in nourishing the sinews, which are the tough fibrous tissues that connect muscles, bones, tendons, skin and smooth muscles of the body. In acupuncture, the sinew channels are important conduits of energy that treat pain and influence how our body reacts to environmental factors that can cause disease.
Liver blood moistens the eyes and the sinews so it is important for eye health and proper functioning of our joints.
The liver houses the Ethereal Soul, which in Chinese medicine is the mental-spiritual aspect of the liver. It is said to influence our capacity for planning and having a sense of direction in life. It is also the source of our life dreams, visions, inspiration and creativity. We can lose our sense of purpose and direction when the liver is weak.
The liver is in charge of the smooth flow of Qi or life force in our body, which is essential for the proper functioning of the body.
Our emotions, our bodies and our sense of well-being are affected when there is a blockage in the Qi flow. We can feel stuck when we are not aligned with our life’s mission and purpose. Any stress and strong emotional energy affects the liver organ the most.
Imbalance in the liver organ can manifest as irritability, frustration, resentment, anger, and even rage. It can manifest in the body as tense neck and shoulders, PMS, menstrual problems, migraines, and poor sleep. An imbalance in the liver can also cause digestive problems because of the relationship of the liver organ with the spleen and stomach organs.
Love your liver and keep it happy
One of the most common Chinese medicine diagnosis patterns that I see in the clinic has to do with liver imbalance. The liver needs to freely move throughout the body for us to feel a sense of ease, happiness, and proper body function. Liver health is important to have smooth flow of menstruation.
Here is one of the most important points to move your liver Qi.
Liver 3 is called Tai Chong which means the “Great Surge.” It is one of the most important and commonly used points in acupuncture.
Located between the first and second toe, between the bones of the feet, about an inch above the web of the toe.
Tai Chong is the source-yuan point, which means It is a main place in the liver channel where Qi gathers and is distributed throughout the body.
You can apply gentle pressure on this point and massage it in a circular motion for 2 -3 minutes daily to benefit the liver.