Avoid Random Pains by Keeping your Liver Healthy
Does this sound like you?
“One day my right shoulder hurts, then the next my left hip. Then suddenly, my wrist will hurt for no reason. I’ve had X-rays done at various times and nothing is ever ‘wrong’”.
To an acupuncturist, this is a classic case of Liver Qi Stagnation.
While western medicine doesn’t recognize the connection between pain and our liver, (or stress and the liver, for that matter) it is well documented in Chinese Medicine.
One of the most important jobs of the liver, from an acupuncture perspective, is keeping our Qi flowing smoothly.
As a refresher, or for those new to my blog, our entire body is made up of Qi. Another way of saying this which is very acceptable to modern science, is simply that our whole body is made up of molecules, which contain protons, neutrons, and electrons…in other words, energy, or Qi. That Qi is in constant motion, and it needs to be—for when it stops flowing well, that is when we have pain.
Pain = Stagnant Qi
In fact, our entire definition of pain, from an acupuncture perspective, is simply “blocked Qi”. There is a pithy expression in Chinese medicine that says “where there is pain, there is no free flow (of Qi)–where there is free flow, there is no pain”. In the case of blocked liver Qi, because there’s not something actually injured in our tissues, the pain doesn’t stay in one spot but rather moves around depending on where the Qi happens to be getting backed up in our system that day.
But what blocks our Qi, and how do we stop it from happening so we can be out of pain?!
That is the million dollar question.
Some things are unavoidable. For example, injuries block our Qi. And no one intentionally sets out to get an injury, so the best we can do once it happens is to try to get that energy flowing again by reducing the inflammation, bringing Qi back to the area with acupuncture and other forms of body work, etc.
But many things that block our Qi are completely avoidable…they just take some effort to prevent them. Since our liver is the #1 organ whose job it is to keep our Qi flowing smoothly, it makes sense that keeping our liver healthy will play a huge part in avoiding aches and pains.
Is YOUR liver healthy or unhealthy?
That begs the question: What makes our liver unhealthy?
Well, in our modern culture, stress is the number one reason that our liver gets out of balance. I’ve been writing a lot about this in my other blogs recently, since we’re in the season related to the liver right now. (If you missed those, you can just check out the rest of my recent blogs)
This is also the number one imbalance that I treat in my acupuncture clinic, along with many other symptoms related to the same imbalance, like migraines, IBS, menstrual irregularities, and insomnia.
Often, by simply getting the liver to start moving Qi with acupuncture, we’re addressing all the various aches and pains through the entire body without ever having to put a needle directly into the place of pain.
When stress and emotional imbalance becomes chronic, it can turn into fibromyalgia. Since I will write more about this next week I won’t say any more about that now, but suffice it to say: If you’ve got random pains moving around, chances are your liver needs some help with cutting your stress and working on relaxation. For more tips on keeping your liver balanced, again, check out my blogs from the last couple months.
And for now, may you have happy livers and freely flowing Qi!
If your pain is due to an orthopedic problem or injury, then I refer out these days for these issues. However, if you have random migrating pains that sound like what’s discussed in this blog, you can schedule an appointment and we’ll get you started on helping your liver get healthier!