An important component to health and wellness is the understanding that our body is not a compartmentalized structure. Every system, organ, vessel, bone, ligament, everything… works TOGETHER to make things happen. In western culture we are often taught to see our body parts as being separate and not interconnected in their functionality. For example: the gut-brain connection is often overlooked but what we eat affects how we think and feel. Our gut is control central for relief of many, many ailments throughout our body.
I have always been intrigued by why people behave the way they do, hence a degree in psychology. However, the more I learn about nutrition, the more I understand about how impactful nutrition is on physical, mental AND emotional well-being. Our bodies are constantly speaking and trying to alert us when something is out of whack. Our behavior lets us know when our nutrient in-take is subpar or our organs are not functioning appropriately.
With that being said, let’s chat a little about the liver. The liver, like the gut, has some major responsibilities but is often overlooked and not adequately cared for. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which I will reference a lot, the liver is the organ in charge of ensuring all the energy (Qi) in the body flows smoothly and without hindrances . We all know (or should know) that the liver filters toxins from the blood, but did you know the liver also aids in helping us to handle mental and emotional stress…???!!! The main emotion associated with the liver is anger, according to TCM’s Five Element Theory. If you are often irritable, get angry easily, have trouble unwinding from the day’s activities, have trouble reasoning or going with the flow and letting things go, you are experiencing a Liver function problem. Experiencing these emotions chronically or excessively can seriously unbalance the function of your Liver . This helps us to recognize — the LIVER IS A PRETTY BIG DEAL!
When we get too stressed out and emotional, our Liver is not able to keep the energy (Qi) flowing smoothly throughout our body. Then stress begins to cause numerous symptoms ranging from headaches to indigestion, heartburn, chest pain, rib cage pain, back pain, shoulder blade pain, muscle tension, PMS, menstrual pain, breast tenderness, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), abdominal pain or even cancer. In TCM, cancer is just a stagnation of Qi, which then stagnates the blood and the Lymph. Qi stagnation, and specifically Liver Qi stagnation, is one of the root causes of most all diseases that afflict today’s modern man and woman .
Let’s think through these questions and be honest with ourselves because if we aren’t honest with ourselves we are deceiving ourselves.
- Do you get angered easily?
- Do you have digestive problems?
- Do you frequently get headaches?
- Are you overly emotional?
- Do you cry easily?
- Does life seem to overwhelm you?
- Do you have a hard time letting go of your thoughts and worries?
There are many questions that can be added to this list but if you answered yes to any, you may have Liver Qi stagnation to some degree. While this is unfortunate, don’t stress yourself because most humans deal with this. The great thing is we do not have to rest in this place, we can take up our beds and walk by using techniques to improve our mood, increase relaxation, deal with emotions and do the best that we can EVERY DAY to love ourselves.
So, what can we begin doing to love and support our liver?
- Find ways to alleviate and / or manage stress
Exercise – walking and yoga are great modes of exercise for stress relief
Meditation – try meditating daily or at least 3-4 times a week for 10-15 minutes
- Incorporate essential oils into your daily routine
(click oil name for additional info)
Juva Cleanse – a premium blend of pure essential oils that includes the naturally occurring constituents neryl acetate, gamma-curcumene, and alpha-pinene for liver support and balancing.
Lemon – aids your liver in flushing out unwanted toxins. Adding a few drops of a quality lemon essential oil to castor oil and rubbing over your liver, at night, will provide liver support and detoxification.
Release – a blend with a relaxing aroma that facilitates the ability to let go of anger and frustration. It also promotes harmony and balance when diffused and can be rubbed over the liver to encourage emotional support.
Peppermint – stimulates the liver and gall bladder which helps to improve digestion and it also helps to cleanse the blood and discharge toxins via the liver. Peppermint essential oil also stimulates healthy bile flow from the liver and gall bladder and supports the digestive system as a whole.
- Eat better by avoiding processed foods, fats, animal proteins, and refined sugars. Replace with organic, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables that help the liver clean itself faster (apples, avocados, beets, citrus, leafy greens). You can also drink fresh juices to give your digestive system a short break at the same time. Choose organic food that’s free of pesticides and chemicals.
- Minimize / eliminate alcohol – this makes your liver work overtime.
Something additional that is key in ridding yourself of buried emotions, as this is cause for a toxic situation in your mind, body, and spirit. I know it is easy to just put things to the side and deal with it later, but all that happens is you never deal with. Then something else gets buried on top of it, then on top of that, and that, and that and before you know it you are filled with unresolved issued and undealt with emotions. You become sick and don’t know why, angry at the world and stressed to the max. Take some quiet time – diffuse some Lavender, Young Living’s Stress Away or Grounding and LET IT GO!
Speak well over yourself. You are not your past. You are not even your present. You are becoming all you were created to be. I know for a fact, who I am today is not who I was last month (trust). So if you have not talked to me since then, you need to meet the new and improved Khadijah. I am growing daily into the beauty of Adonai, in whose image I was created to be Love in the earth.
I know this post was lengthier than others but prayerfully the information will be helpful to you and your liver. Comment below which steps you will take to love on your liver 🙂 Talk to you soon.
The information shared in this article is for educational purposes. It is not to diagnose or treat any illness. As the reader please do your own research (reference the links included), in order to make informed decisions about YOUR health and wellness.