Are you starting the new year feeling energized, vibrant, happy, and content or are you feeling sluggish, dull, depressed, and unfulfilled? Either way, you can give ample credit to your liver. The liver serves the body by performing hundreds of functions which are critical to maintaining optimal physical health. Furthermore, if your liver is healthy and thriving, your mind and emotional state will thrive as well.
The liver is an essential organ, and its functions are numerous. At the top of the list is its role of detoxifying the blood. However, it is also responsible for balancing blood sugar levels and facilitating digestion for the proper assimilation of nutrients. Incredibly, the liver can take quite a beating and still regenerate itself. This is good news for most of us as our current lifestyle tends to include over-working along with over-indulgence, both of which are not ideal for a healthy liver.
While the liver is more well-known for performing its physiological functions, it also plays a significant role in regulating emotions. Specifically, when the liver is out of balance, one may experience feelings of depression, anger, and irritability. This is because the blood and the energy of the body (often referred to as “qi”) have a close relationship. When the qi moves, the blood follows and when the qi becomes stuck, the blood stagnates. As humans, we feel our best emotionally and physically when the qi and blood are flowing freely.
Here are five simple ways to enhance the health of your liver:
1. Exercise. Every step counts!
2. Eat foods directly from the earth which are not processed. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
3. Increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
4. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
5. Address stress levels and ameliorate them with meditation, prayer, and counseling.
One of my favorite analogies to present to patients with symptoms of a suppressed liver is to “loosen the reigns” on life. We tend to get caught up in: a seemingly never-ending list of tasks to complete and feeling as if we must complete them perfectly. When we hold on too tightly to those goals and feel anchored to specific outcomes, we don’t have enough space within ourselves to move freely and find that which brings joy and happiness. Let it go and your liver will thank you for it. In turn, your mind and body will feel less burdened, thereby leading you to live a life feeling healthy, happy, and full of zest.
"While the liver is more well-known for performing its physiological functions, it also plays a significant role in regulating emotions. Specifically, when the liver is out of balance..."