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.
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!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.