The liver fulfils many tasks such as the production of gal and antibodies; regulating the blood sugar levels as well as the hormonal, protein and fat metabolisms; the storage of vitamins and the detoxification of the blood. The liver organ regulates the function of the spleen, whilst the lung regulates the liver. Both the liver and the spleen circulate blood and nutrients taken from the food consumed. Disturbances in the digestive system can occur as a result of a disturbance in the interaction of these three organs. This can cause any of the following: irregular appetite, flatulence, heart burn, spasmodic pain in the stomach and intestines and to the development of gallstones. The energy of the gallbladder is most active between 23:00-01:00 hours, that of the liver energy between 01:00-03:00. The characteristics of both the liver and the gallbladder are related to those of the spring time, a moment in the year when there is a huge amount of growth and expansion in nature, visible in all forms of animal, tree and plant. Consider the shear strength that a blade of grass displays whilst pushing upwards from the earth to grow. Have you noticed how your own energy and frame of mind is influenced by the spring time?
According to the ancient system of healing based upon the 5 elements, the liver is related to the wood element, which is associated with strength and regeneration. Men experience this by their need to attain goals in life. Women are more conscious of this in their monthly menstrual cycle; each cycle having the power to give birth to new life. Apart from the wood elements relation with the menstrual cycle it is also related to the menopause (taking - a – pause from men!), which announces a beginning as well as an end. When the liver sends heat to the blood, the menstruation will be copious and heavy. This can also cause nose bleeds, or bleeding elsewhere in the body, such as piles. The liver energy is also related to the strength of the male erection. Wood has to be supple and to bend with the wind in order to remain strong as well as to grow alongside other plants and trees. The growth of wood must adapt equally to its environment as its own needs, visible by the forms that many different trees and plants assume whenever they have to share water and light with each other. The wood element is related to your ability to realise and assess your individual strength and to take into account the needs of others around you. The liver energy dictates the flexibility of your muscles and tendons. People who lack the ability to be supple move their body in a rigid, stiff manner. Their decisions and ways of organising things are also uncompromisingly rigid.
On the emotional dimension, anger is an expression of the liver energy, for example the loud voices and outbursts of anger caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Another example is the need to scream or the habit of talking very loud in order to gain the attention of others. Supressing anger makes the voice softer, which can be compared to keeping the lid on a pressure cooker!
The liver energy distributes Ki, (Chi or Prana) to all parts of your body, indicating the aspect of vitality related with the liver energy. In cases of stagnation the energy rises, which disturbs the energy of the gallbladder. The face becomes red, the head feels hot and under pressure (as in response to anger) and a one-sided headache can be felt. In extreme cases this ascent of energy can lead to aggressive behaviour. Emotional and physical energies are stored up in the liver and the gallbladder, leading to emotional instability and to outbursts of emotion that are swiftly brought under control, as is the case in premenstrual syndrome. The liver energy can create hyper-sensitivity towards others, considering others as objects which obstruct your path. "Upon waking, consider each morning as a new cycle, the beginning of a new day in your life" Stagnation of liver energy creates physical and mental restlessness, which can cause insomnia. Not feeling rested upon waking up, can indicate that the liver & gallbladder energy is disturbed. Every evening your blood passes through the liver in order to have toxins removed. The following morning the cleaned blood is sent back to the heart to be circulated. This process is much less effective when sleep is disturbed, and toxins build up in the blood. This in turn leads to pain, infections and rigidity in the tendons and muscles. The eyes are needed to find your way and to calculate situations correctly. They are also dependant on huge amounts of blood. Disturbances in the liver energy cause the eyes to become red, dry and irritated. Further examples of symptoms are short sightedness (myopia) and far sightedness (presbyopia). Repetitive Strain Syndrome (RSI) is caused by excessive use of the eyes, for example sitting for hours in front of a computer screen, which reduces the flow of blood from the liver to the eyes. In time this goes on to disturb the function of the tendons and their connection with the joints in the body. Other symptoms associated with disturbance of liver energy are: dry skin and hair, dizziness (vertigo), depression, poor memory, spots before the eyes, weak and fragile nails and lastly pelvic instability. The energy of the liver is related to the etheric aspect of the soul, called the ‘hun’. This gives ‘colour’ to your life as well as to your soul.
Disturbances in the energetic relationship between the liver and the spleen- pancreas create conflicts between the following:
When the energetic relationship between the liver and the lung becomes disturbed a struggle occurs between the need to be expressive or restrained and subdued; between enthusiasm and indifference; between spontaneity and aloofness; between chaos and order.