• The Acupuncture Clinic of Tom Ingegno L.Ac 907 Lakewood Ave Baltimore, MD 21224
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    • 29 MAY 12
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    Exactly what does the liver do?

    According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is associated with the color green and represents the element of wood, which is prevalent in springtime. It feeds the heart and is nourished by the kidneys. It controls the spleen-pancreas and is held in check by the lungs. In particular, the liver performs the following functions:

    • The flow and even distribution of qi throughout the body is  maintained by the liver. This makes it a very important organ, and any imbalance will usually affect another organ. Liver qi stagnation* can cause a wide range of health concerns, including abdominal pain and breast pain, fibroids and tumors, chronic digestive disorders, depression, muscle spasms and lower back pain.
    • Blood is stored in the liver when the body is at rest. In this way the liver regulates the amount of blood in circulation. Sufficient blood and blood flow is required to keep the liver, tendons and ligaments supple and moist. When blood is deficient muscles lose their flexibility.
    • As the opening to the liver is the eyes in Chinese medicine, it is responsible for the prevention of many eye problems, such as weak and blurry vision, cataracts and glaucoma.
    • The liver controls the emotions of anger and frustration and is easily damaged by them, resulting in depression and stagnation in liver qi. If the liver is toxic, anger will be felt more deeply and for longer.
    • The liver is in control of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Most symptoms of PMS** are associated with liver qi stagnation. The liver regulates the timing and course of menstruation.
    • The condition of the liver is reflected in fingernails and toenails. If the blood is not plentiful and does not flow smoothly, nails will be pale, weak and brittle.

    * Coffee is regarded in Chinese medicine as one of the most damaging stimulants in causing liver qi stagnation. Even decaffeinated coffee can disrupt the smooth flow of qi making it difficult to resolve liver imbalances.
    ** See my next article for more info on PMS and Chinese medicine
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