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Meridian names. "What's wrong with my Liver?"

September 7, 2017

Often in clinic, as I explain meridian pathways to my clients, I may say, "I am going to use a few Liver points on your leg and Gall Bladder points on your opposite leg". Clearly this prompt the question, "what's wrong with my Liver". Well, to explain. Chinese Medicine named the meridians by very different names. It was Western physicians and translators that named the meridians after Western biological organ names. So the Leg JueYin was called Liver and the arm JueYin was named the Pericardium channel. So please don't be alerted when I say "heart channel pathology" or "Liver Qi stagnation".

 

In Chinese Medicine the organs of the body are reflected on the surface meridians and the organs can be treated with fine needles on the surface of the body. Chinese Medicine is a holistic, energetic, physical and emotional Medicine. Anger is associated with the Liver organ, but also with the Gall-Bladder. Interestingly in older English we say-"he is very Liverish" suggesting that he is angry. The Gall Bladder is to do with courage and taking action. In the older style English you've probably heard of the expression, "He hasn't the Gall to do it". Sounds like at some point we had a similar holistic approach to the body and somewhere along the way we've managed to separate ones emotional state from the physical entity and chose to see the body as having separate parts that work together to create the whole. In Chinese Medicine the body is a continuum with itself and nature that surrounds it and is observed as a whole to start with. In Traditional Chinese Medicine Wind/Cold attacks the body from the outside when the body is weaker than the elements. In English we "catch a cold", interesting ah? The Chinese say that Wind is the spearhead of all disease.  Interestingly, the Energetics of Wind is movement, either external environmental wind or wind that is generated within the body and causes tremors like in Parkinson's or body rash that itches and moves from place to place, just like wind moves. 

 

To explain the intricacies of the body's energies, Chinese Medicine uses natural phenomenon in a metaphoric way to understand the body's nature. Like nature, we get hot or cold, dry or damp, present excesses or deficiencies.  Just because the terms sound metaphoric and wide in scope, don't be fooled in thinking that there is a lack of precision or structure. On the contrary. A person presenting with a migraine headache is diagnosed very individually and specifically. After a lengthy investigation through questions, pulse taking and tongue observation, these factors are all used to triangulate and confirm or disconfirm the state of the body's energetic systems to derive a final diagnosis. Two clients presenting with a headache may have completely different pathologies that require different treatments. One may have a "liver Qi stasis that causes rising Liver Yang (Fire) to the head and the other may have a yin (fluid) deficiency type headache that causes Yang to rise upwards as the fluids cannot balance and hold back the yang from rising upwards. Both clients will be treated very differently, based on their particular constitution, presentation and underlined condition.

 

So No, most likely you do not have a problem with your Liver just because your Chinese Medicine Practitioner is treating your Liver Meridian. :-) 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this little insight.  

 

 

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