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859-913-5638

The acupuncture office of Deborah Hutchinson, PhD, LAc, DiplAc (NCCAOM)®. Located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, offering acupuncture and moxibustion according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles

Spring

Liver Tune-up Time!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is ruled by a particular organ system and spring is connected to the liver. What does this mean? You probably notice changes in the way you feel, both physically and mentally, as the seasons change. Many of us feel more contemplative and introspective during the winter months. Once spring hits, we may feel ready to recharge and get things done.

Liver energy is strong and assertive, the type of energy you need to create plans and propel them into motion. However, if your liver is out of balance, you might notice that you’re more irritable or on edge than usual.

 

Here are a few signs that your liver is in need of an acupuncture tune-up:

1. You’ve noticed an increase in headaches, and these headaches seem to feel worse when you aren’t active. Generally, headaches tend to manifest at the vertex of your head.

2. You feel constipated or bloated. Your bowel movements have become irregular, alternating between constipation and loose stools. Hard, difficult stools that appear pebbly are also a sign of liver imbalance.

3. Friends and coworkers are scared of you because you are cranky, cranky, cranky! When liver energy is out of balance, you can feel agitated, irritated, and generally out of sorts. Sometimes irritation flares into outright anger more easily than it would if this energy was flowing smoothly.

4. You may notice PMS symptoms have been worsening. Bloating, breast tenderness, sensitivity can all be exacerbated by liver imbalance. If your periods are more painful or clotted, this can also be due to a stagnation of liver energy.

5. Your eyes are red, itchy, or irritated.

6. Shoulders, neck, or jaw are uncomfortably tight. If the liver energy is out of balance, it can flow upward. This causes inflexibility, and everything in your body to “rise up”: you might grind or clench your teeth, hold your shoulders up, experience symptoms of TMJ, or have headaches at the top of your head

7. Maybe you’ve noticed that your allergies are in full force, complete with itchy, red, watery eyes.

If you are suffering from any of these issues, your body is crying out for a visit. Please, come and talk to me! Let’s get you a Spring tune-up with tried and trued TCM solutions that can help.

Acupuncture for Liver Detox

When people consider starting a cleanse or detoxification program, their minds often turn to  boxed or bottled juices and pre-packaged kits. While acupuncture is not typically associated with detoxification, it’s proven to be not only an efficient detoxification technique on its own, but can also help decrease the unpleasant side effects of clearing toxins from the blood.

The College of Oriental Medicine at Daejeon University conducted and published a study showing that acupuncture can reduce liver toxicity while protecting the liver and its functions. While this study was conducted on laboratory rats, the information collected shows great promise as to how it can be used in humans. The rats were injected with an olive oil solution into the abdomen to create an injury to the liver. They were then treated using a specific acupuncture point (Gallbladder 34). The gallbladder and liver meridians are linked through an interior-exterior relationship. Blood work was monitored throughout the study and specific liver values were shown to improve as the acupuncture treatments continued, thus helping to balance the liver and keep it functioning properly.

Here’s a link to the research article.

In TCM, the liver is considered to be an organ that is easily affected by excess stress and uncontrolled emotions. The liver is paired with the gallbladder and the two work very closely as a unit. When one is imbalanced, the other may display symptoms. For instance, if a person is constantly stressed, their liver energies may become blocked — and the gallbladder can become affected. It’s not uncommon for people in high-stress jobs to end up with gallstones. This can happen when the liver becomes imbalanced and emotions bottle up, manifesting in pain and potentially stones.

Anger is the emotion commonly associated with the liver and gallbladder. If a person is frequently irritable, gets angered easily, and has difficulty relaxing or navigating conflict, it’s safe to guess that the liver Qi isn’t functioning properly. There are many methods of balancing the liver and returning proper energy flow throughout the body. Learning to stay calm and channel one’s anger appropriately is a good place to start. Practice some deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or simply take a walk. All of these things are great for balancing stagnant liver Qi.

Acupuncture is another great way to balance liver energies. Regular acupuncture treatments help balance the body holistically and without any major detrimental side effects. During the spring, the liver is especially taxed due to the intense new energies that occur. This makes springtime a wonderful time to begin acupuncture treatments.

Don’t wait for your system to send you a Springtime alarm! Give us a call to schedule your acupuncture tune-up today, and let’s see what we can do to get your liver happy again!

Here is a pdf of this blog post.

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