Love your Liver
Spring has officially sprung. Do you hear your liver calling? Calling out for love and attention? Maybe you don’t know the way that it speaks? I do. I listen to them and coax them out of their grumpy stuck positions up under the rib cage on a regular basis. I politely ask them to relax and release congested fluid and toxins. Eventually they get used to my persistent but peaceful presence and settle down into my touch providing a sense of internal space and flexibility for the client.
The liver often communicates through irritability, lowered immunity and fatigue. When you find yourself awakening in the morning with that “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” feeling, then you can bet your liver needs some love. When you feel lackluster and uncomfortably thick just below your ribs, then your liver could be calling out for some support. The liver also communicates through skin issues, hormonal imbalance, chemical sensitivity, repeated illness and nausea. Do you experience nausea after a fatty meal; even healthy fat? Yes, that’s your liver speaking in its own special language.
So how do you give this old friend the support it needs? After all the liver is constantly working for you; synthesizing important vitamins, breaking down excess hormones, producing bile for fat digestion and detoxifying the body among many, many other things. Specialized nutrition is one very important factor for effective detox of the liver.
You might have heard of the liver supporting herb Milk Thistle or Dandelion roots and greens. Beets are another favorite liver fortification food. Mother Nature usually provides a healing answer for most of our ills. However, with modern life and a world of new, man-made toxins the liver also appreciates a special cocktail of vitamins and amino acids that it can use to do all of its many jobs. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), Vitamin C and a collection of B vitamins are a few of the nutrients that the liver needs to neutralize and excrete the many toxins that we produce internally and absorb from our environment every day. Without a healthy supply of its specialized nutritional profile the liver holds these toxins inside or allows them into the blood stream, un-neutralized, where they flow through the rest of the body wreaking havoc on other systems and sensitive tissues.
Body therapies such as visceral massage, lymphatic therapy and colonics are also very helpful for getting things moving in the liver. Visceral massage uses sensitive palpation techniques to detect and address liver congestion. Organ positioning and movement is a vital part of organ health. Imagine trying to get your eyes to work right when they are squinted tight and blurred with dust. Organs do not work well when they are stuck and congested either.
Lymphatic therapy and colonics are great for improving the flow of toxins out of the body, thereby reducing the load on the liver. Lymphatic fluid carries toxins circulating through the blood stream into the lymph nodes and major vessels for break down and elimination. Decongestive Lymphatic therapy greatly enhances the flow of congested lymph into the proper channels for cleansing. Bile, secreted from the liver, carries toxins into the intestinal tract where it mixes with stool and exits the body during elimination. Colonics significantly increase the flow of this toxic bile out of the body, where you can actually observe it leaving the body during the session.
With all this technical talk it’s easy to forget about the elemental wisdom of healthfully expressing anger and learning to say “no.” Repressed anger and overcommitting can stress the liver. The vitamins the liver would be using to do its many jobs are used managing the effects of stress. Hydration is often compromised and bile can become sludgy. One of the first emotional sign posts of a liver clearing toxins is a little anger or irritability. The good news is that very soon to follow are some of the most noticeable benefits of liver cleansing; improved mood, reduced cravings and a healthy increase in the ability to say “no.” This is something that isn’t valued much in our culture but leads to a paced and rewarding life.
So have you loved your liver lately? Have you eaten some beets, honored your inner “no”, or had some liver massage? Don’t wait for your liver to slow down and get irritable with you. Give it some attention this spring (when it’s craving a cleanse the most), and it will love you back throughout the year!
Kristi Zimmer, LMP
Co-Owner of Tummy Temple