Embracing Fall Wellness Through Liver Support
As the cool breeze of fall sets in, my focus has shifted to nurturing practices to support my body, especially the liver. I was settling into bed when I realized it was cool enough to break out the heating pad for my castor oil pack. That got my wheels turning about liver health. I wanted to ask my friend Dr Kathleen Murray, a licensed acupuncturist and founder of Dove Tail Medicine, about the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective on how the changing seasons impact the liver. We recorded our conversation...so join us on a holistic journey toward vibrant wellness by exploring the synergy of Biomagnetism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and a functional approach to health.
Understanding the Chinese Liver: A TCM Perspective
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is like a conductor, orchestrating the harmony of our body's functions. It manages the smooth flow of Qi; however, much like ourselves, our liver can resist change, particularly during seasonal transitions.
Decoding the Telltale Signs of Liver Imbalance
The whole role of the liver is to keep Qi moving smoothly. Anything that throws a wrench into that smooth-flowing Qi makes for an unhappy liver. This "unhappiness" often manifests as blockages in the liver's Qi, leading to digestive issues, emotional irritability, menstrual dysregulation, and skin conditions. A telltale sign for me of disrupted liver Qi is a rollercoaster of emotions in a short period. I can feel them welling up and needing an outlet. A flushed, red face or hot flashes are other signs of liver imbalance.
Dr. Murray's Tips to Harmonize Liver Qi
Kathleen showed us one of her favorite acupuncture points for smoothing our liver Qi, Liver-3. Whenever you are feeling your emotions running a muck, heat rising to your head (headaches, hot flashes, flushing), or bloating, try Liver-3. It can be stimulated by applying firm pressure for 20-30 seconds or using Biomagnetism magnets. If using Biomagnetism magnets, place the black side facing the skin of the right foot and the red side facing the skin of the left foot. Leave the magnets on for 10-15 minutes. Dr Murray also recommended avoiding too many sour foods like lemons, kombucha, and berries...most of which would traditionally not be available to us in the autumn season. And, of course, we both recommend regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture is widely covered by insurance. If your insurance doesn't cover acupuncture, consider Community Acupuncture an affordable option.
Three Easy Ways to Support Liver Detoxification
Seasonal Sulfur-Rich Foods: A Delicious Path to Phase 2 Liver Detox
Understanding Phase 2 Liver Detoxification
Understanding the intricate detoxification processes is critical when supporting our liver's well-being. Phase 2 liver detoxification is the second crucial step, where our liver metabolizes and neutralizes the toxins from Phase 1 detoxification. This transformative process involves binding these modified toxins with specific molecules, making them water-soluble and easily excretable from our bodies. When someone experiences "detox symptoms" or "herx symptoms" it is often due to inadequate Phase 2 support. We can support Phase 2 detoxification through our diet by consuming adequate protein and sulfur-rich foods. Luckily, the fall-time harvest is rich with sulfur-rich foods such as garlic, onions, collards, kale, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Enjoy eating those veggies to your heart's, I mean your liver's content.
Unveiling the Power of Castor Oil Packs for Liver Restoration
Applying a castor oil pack is a simple yet powerful practice I often recommend to clients. Contrary to what you may hear or read, castor oil packs do not have to be messy or time-consuming. After applying the castor oil, you should lay down with heat over the liver area for an hour. Though having a spare hour during the day to relax with my pack on would be lovely, that is unrealistic. My hack is to apply it at night, right before falling asleep. By doing that, I can use a castor oil pack 3-5 times a week.
Castor Oil Packs Made Simple
First, gather your supplies. You'll need high-quality cold-pressed castor oil, a soft organic cloth, and a hot water bottle or heating pad. Once you have everything, rub a quarter-sized amount of castor oil over the liver (on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath the ribcage) and lower abdomen. Place the cloth over the oil. The purpose of the cloth is to prevent oil from getting everywhere. Next, place your hot water bottle or heating pad on top of the cloth to provide gentle warmth to the area. Finally, turn off the light and go to sleep. At some point during the night, I remove the cloth and heating pad, but I've had all the benefits of a castor oil pack without any inconvenience.
Harnessing Biomagnetism for Gentle Liver Detoxification
Biomagnetism offers a gentle yet potent method to support the liver's natural detoxification processes. We can stimulate the liver's detoxification mechanisms by utilizing specific Biomagnetic pairs, my favorite being a vertical pair over the liver (I demonstrate the placement in the video). The beautiful thing about Biomagnetism is how easily you can incorporate it into your routine. You can wear your magnets during other activities like reading, driving, working, and washing dishes. Just leave them on for 15-20 minutes and you're good to go.
Embrace Your Liver for Vibrant Wellness
Understanding the liver's dynamic nature, recognizing signs of liver imbalance, and adopting practical detoxification methods are foundational for liver health. From the gentle healing of Biomagnetism to the rejuvenating effects of castor oil packs and the nourishment of sulfur-rich foods, we can support our liver in many ways. Let me know in the comments which one you are trying.
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