According to Chinese Medicine, the Liver is not just an organ but an "organ system" with many functions and areas of the body it controls and is related to. The main function of the Liver system is to ensure the free flow of blood and energy (qi) throughout the body, it also regulates hormones, aids digestion and controls the tendons and the eyes. The Liver can be easily affected by stress, anger, inactivity and alcohol.
When the energy (Qi) of the Liver is in disorder people can experience symptoms such as tight neck and shoulders, headaches at the back of the head, top of the head or behind one eye, muscle spasms and cramps, inflexible joints, menstrual disorders, ringing in the ears and irritable bowel syndrome.
Chinese belief holds that Qi circulates throughout the body in a regular cycle spending 2 hours in each organ over the 24 hour period and the time it enters the Liver is 1am, departing the organ at 3am. When the Liver is disordered or "hot" or "stagnant" then people will often find they wake between these hours of the early morning and find it difficult to fall back to sleep.
The Liver is one of the body's chief detoxification organs and it has the ability to break down the many toxins of today's world and our lifestyle choices create. When it becomes overburdened you will see digestive issues, skin disorders, hormonal imbalances and headaches just to name a few issues.
A regular detox is a great course of action to keep not only your Liver happy but also helping the the far reaching knock on effects of an unhappy Liver!
There are specific supplements and herbs that can aid the process along with acupuncture points that can help the Liver to detoxify and start smiling again :).
Rachel Pavitt is at Health Space Mona Vale & Brookvale Clinics