Focus On the Liver

Updated: Nov 4, 2021



We are closing our Spring Curriculum over the next several sessions focusing on the Liver and its associated organs:

  • Gall Bladder- the yang (hollow) paired organ to the solid/yin Liver

  • The Pericardium- Continuation of the Liver-foot channel to the Pericardium-arm channel

  • The Triple Burner- Continuation of the Gall Bladder-foot channel to the Tb-arm channel Springtime means stress on the Wood Element- Liver and Gall Bladder. As Spring progresses, we become like a tree dried out by the sun. Heat often accumulates and the liver is either over- active and rising or weakened and sinking. We must abide by certain realities or suffer the consequences of liver-gall bladder dysfunction. These include:

  • Musculoskeletal: Liver “governs the sinews” o Pain, tenderness, tightness in joints, ligaments, and fascia

  • Gastrointestinal o Liver regulates the Spleen (pancreas) in the 5-Element Model o Gall Bladder is the pivot between the Liver and Stomach

  • Mental: Liver is the “Sea of Emotions” o Irritability, twitchiness, insomnia o Sadness, depression (due to lung failing to regulate Liver, 5-Element Model)

  • Menstruation o Heavy bleeding, irregularity and failure to ovulate, infertility, PMS

  • Eyes o Optic nerve/macula, tendons of eye muscles (blurriness), redness (Gb-Tb) o Dry eyes and floaters

  • Itchy skin disorders Diet, Herbs, Vitamins and Rest Basics for the Liver

• Diet is a very important aspect with the Liver o If the liver is weak, shifting the diet to up to 30% greens is the fastest way to unburden it. Most should eschew red meat. The best greens are bitter types found in spring mix. They should be lightly sautéed or steamed. Very little nutrition is available from raw vegetables, including salads o Olive Oil is a kind of medicine for the Gall Bladder. We stock 3-5 varieties from Season’s Olive Oil and Vinegar Tap Room. They provide me their oils highest in polyphenols that make the oil bitter- the most important medicinal aspect. Also, their oils are fresh so you can consume them within 6 months. Most imported olive oil is stale and even adulterated with other oils. Drop by the office- I can prescribe one of the oils specifically for your condition and provide it at their price. o Lemon is very cleansing for the liver and gall bladder. I usually don’t recommend Liver Cleanses. They can weaken the liver further or rough up an over-worked liver. Gall Bladder flushes are useful in some cases of gallstones. o Milk Thistle and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Because everything you eat passes through the liver, you must stop overloading it with supplements and herbs to let it recover. Milk Thistle is one of the few Western herbs available to fortify a weakened liver. Capsules and teas are available sources of Milk Thistle. Vitamin B2 in low doses (under 100mg) on an empty stomach is useful to calm an over- heated, rising liver. We stock the low dose B2 as it can be hard to find. Don’t take supplemental vitamin B12 at the same time. This counteracts the B2. You need help deciding between Milk Thistle and Vitamin B2. They aren’t to be taken together. o Tylenol is toxic to the liver in high doses causing a number of deaths each year from suicide. However, it is safe in the recommended dosage. Ibuprofen and related NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause liver, kidney and stomach dysfunction more frequently. They should not be used except for short-term pain. o Rest The liver asks us to be in bed by ten. A kind of ‘false energy’ accompanies liver trouble starting late in the evening. The afflicted say, “I am a night person. I feel a burst of energy late at night. I get my best work done after 10PM”. Alcohol My neighbor introduced me to an interesting practice. He takes a month off alcohol every year. For those who partake, late Spring is the perfect time to try this out. Meditative ExerciseGall Bladder and Triple Burner o When working with the GB we are often ‘treating yang to affect yin’. This is analogous to rain cooling the dry, hot tree from the outside o Find the GB channel on the outside of the leg below the knee connecting to the backside of the hand and forearm below the elbow o You may rub, tap or press the points on the channels o Then assume the Liver Posture and Mudra in a seated position § Keep hands low to bring arm and leg points together § Don’t stretch points on the arms and legs apart; you only slow the effect o Repeat

in a standing position with attention § First to the 5 Needles (see earlier post) § Then to the connection between arm and leg

Liver and Pericardium o Working with the Liver is like cooling the tree by soaking the roots via ground water.

This is more from inside-out o Find the Liver channel on the inside of the leg below the knee and its connection to the palm-side of your hand and arm below the elbow o Repeat the Liver Posture and Mudra standing 2 • Liver and Gall Bladder done at the same time o Feel for the connection of a few points between the arms and legs o Pause until the connection breaks down and you hand rises and relaxes forward o Add the arm moving meditation and walking meditation for the Liver o Focus on clearing the channel, not your muscles, discomfort, or pain



Starting your Day I look forward to coffee in the morning. We should get something in our stomachs before the coffee. There is concern that coffee on an empty stomach can raise blood sugar. Here is my solution:

  • A scoop of powdered fiber and

  • Powdered greens in water

  • Then coffee and breakfast before or after

  • Meditative Exercise before or after a little reading of spiritual or medical literature

  • 45-minute walk to work Below are the products I have used. Not expensive. Avoid Metamucil with its added sugar. How we begin our morning sets the stage for our day, really our life. Take charge of this moment! No, I don’t always get all of this done:)