The liver, a vital organ with functions that impact everything from our digestion to our emotional well-being, is intricately linked to the overall harmony of our health. Its malfunctions can manifest in diverse ways, ranging from disruptive digestive complications to profound emotional imbalances such as depression.
In psychosomatics, there is indeed the notion that the liver can be connected to a person’s emotional state. Although these concepts don’t always find strict scientific validation, they complement our understanding of the relationship between physical and emotional health.
In the psychosomatic model, the liver is often linked to emotions such as anger, irritation, and stress. It is believed that individuals with chronic liver problems may have difficulties in managing these emotions.
Quote: “Human emotions have a place in our bodies, and in the case of anger and frustration, that place is often found in the liver.” — David Eisenberg, expert in integrative medicine.
From a psychosomatic perspective, prolonged emotional stress can lead to functional disturbances. The liver plays a key role in many metabolic processes, including the processing of stress hormones like cortisol. Therefore, according to some opinions, emotional stress can “accumulate” in the liver.
Methods of Correction
In psychosomatics, various methods are used to “release” the liver from negative emotions:
- Emotional Unloading: Techniques of deep relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness can help in stress and emotion management.
- Psychotherapy: Working with a psychotherapist can help to understand the roots of emotional discomfort and develop strategies for managing it.
- Physical Activity: Exercise can help regulate the level of stress hormones and also stimulate liver function.
Fact: One study published in the journal “Mindfulness and Stress Management” showed that mindfulness practice can reduce stress levels and improve liver function indicators.
German New Medicine on the Liver’s Reaction to Biological Conflicts
German New Medicine (GNM), developed by Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, offers an alternative view on the causes of diseases, including liver problems. GNM links physical symptoms to psycho-emotional conflicts and claims that they have a “biological meaning.”
According to GNM theory, each organ and tissue originates from specific germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm), and this origin determines the nature of the tissue’s reaction to emotional conflicts. The liver, for example, originates from the endoderm. The endoderm is associated with “morsel conflicts”: stress situations related to the inability to swallow, digest, or get rid of a problem in order to obtain what is desired. This is not about food in this case. Ectodermal pathologies arise due to social, hierarchical conflicts, conflicts of contact, and territory.
Active Phase of Conflict
In the active phase of the conflict, according to GNM, the liver can change its functionality and structure in response to emotional stress. For example, a decompensation process may begin, affecting the liver’s ability to neutralize toxins or produce proteins. During this time, liver tissues begin to increase, but painful symptoms are not observed.
In the recovery phase, when the conflict is resolved, GNM asserts that the liver begins a “self-healing” process. This may include the resumption of normal functionality. Excessive liver tissues that grew during the active conflict phase begin to break down, causing painful sensations; however, this is a normal process and should not be interfered with.
Note: The core tenets of GNM have not been confirmed by extensive clinical studies, and the use of this model for diagnosis or treatment should be approached with extreme caution and only under the observation of qualified medical professionals.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a unique approach to understanding the liver and its functions in the body. In this system, the liver is not just a physiological organ but also a center of emotional and energetic balance.
Role of the Liver in TCM
In TCM, the liver is viewed as the organ responsible for the free movement of Qi (life force or energy) and blood throughout the body. It is also associated with the ancient element “Wood” and linked to emotions, particularly anger and irritation.
Cold and Warm Liver
According to TCM practitioners, the liver’s condition can be “cold” or “warm,” affecting the overall state of the body:
- Cold Liver: Associated with a deficiency of energy and can cause symptoms such as fatigue, poor circulation, and a depressive state.
- Warm Liver: Linked to an excess of energy, which can lead to high blood pressure, stress, or anger.
- Liver Massage: In TCM, there are massage techniques specifically targeted at the liver to stimulate the free movement of Qi and blood.
- Warming Pads: The application of heat can be beneficial for a “cold” liver, as it can help activate energy and improve circulation.
- Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine: These methods are also often used to correct imbalances in the liver.
Quote: “The liver is the organ that ‘plans the route’ for Qi and blood. When the liver is healthy, everything goes smoothly. When there is an imbalance in the liver, it reflects on the entire organism.” — Li Shi Zhen, author of the classic work “Ben Cao Gang Mu.”
Courage, Hormones, and the Liver
The liver plays a key role in the metabolism of many hormones, including testosterone and growth hormone. These hormones have a range of psychological and physiological effects that can influence the level of courage and daring in men.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone synthesized in the testes and, in smaller amounts, in the ovaries and adrenal cortex. This hormone is responsible for multiple functions, from the development of secondary sexual characteristics to mood regulation. 75% of cholesterol is produced by the liver, and only 25% comes from food. If a man regularly “damages” his liver with alcohol, tobacco byproducts, or drugs, or his diet consists of foods high in “bad” fats, then within a very short period, the liver will start synthesizing estradiol – a female hormone, instead of testosterone.
Courage and Testosterone: Research shows that high levels of testosterone may correlate with increased levels of courage, self-confidence, and even aggressiveness.
Quote: “Testosterone is not just a ‘male’ hormone. It is a key element that regulates our courage and resilience in the face of difficulties.” — Dr. Ronald S. Swerdloff, endocrinology specialist.
Hormone Metabolism in the Liver
The liver plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of these hormones, converting them into active and inactive forms and regulating their levels in the blood. Although the metabolism of testosterone and growth hormone in the liver is an important factor in their regulation, the psychological effects of these hormones, such as courage and self-confidence, are also influenced by a multitude of other factors including emotional state, social environment, and overall health.
Facts: Recent research has shown that testosterone levels can increase by up to 20-30% after successfully completing “courageous” tasks or actions.
Massage and Self-Massage of the Liver
Benefits of Liver Massage
- Improved Circulation: Massage helps in dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow, which assists the liver in functioning more efficiently.
- Stress and Tension Relief: Relaxation of liver tissue can aid in relieving stress and reducing imbalance associated with chronic stress or negative emotions.
- Detoxification: Improved blood flow and relaxation of muscle tissue may contribute to effective removal of toxins from the body.
Self-Massage of the Liver
Before starting liver self-massage, it is recommended to consult with a medical professional, especially if you have chronic liver conditions or other medical issues. Below is a general methodology for liver self-massage, but each case is unique, and the approach should be individualized.
- Relax: Before starting the self-massage, find a comfortable position, relax, and take several deep breaths in and out.
- Hand Hygiene: Make sure your hands are clean, and if desired, you can use natural massage oil (e.g., lavender or aloe oil).
- Locating the Liver: The liver is situated in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. Light pressure under the ribs on the right will help identify its location.
- Stroking: Start with light stroking movements over the liver area. This will help relax the muscles and improve blood circulation.
- Gentle Massage: Apply gentle circular pressure with your fingers around the liver area. Avoid strong pressure.
- Breathing: Try to breathe deeply and evenly throughout the entire process.
- Assess Sensations: Listen attentively to your body. If you feel discomfort or pain, stop the massage immediately.
- Avoid liver massage after heavy meals or if symptoms like abdominal pain, jaundice, or high temperature are present.
- If you have medical contraindications, be sure to consult your doctor before performing self-massage.
Considering all the above, liver self-massage can be a useful tool for maintaining liver health and overall well-being. However, it does not replace professional medical care for serious conditions or symptoms.
Warming with Heating Pads
- Improved Circulation: Heat helps to dilate blood vessels, which can improve blood flow in the liver and other organs.
- Muscle Relaxation: Heat can help relax liver tissue and reduce muscle tension around the liver.
- Pain Relief: Heat may alleviate pain, especially in chronic conditions such as cirrhosis or fatty liver disease.
- Choice of Heating Pad: Use a heating pad that provides even heat distribution. Many prefer electric heating pads with temperature control.
- Temperature: The heating pad should be warm, but not hot, to avoid burns.
- Duration: It is generally recommended to apply the heating pad for 15-20 minutes, although this can vary depending on individual needs.
- Position: It is best to apply the heating pad while lying on your back or side to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness.
- Fabric between the Heating Pad and Skin: To prevent burns, place a thin piece of fabric between the heating pad and your skin.
- If you have inflammatory liver diseases, gallstones, or other medical issues, make sure to consult a doctor before using heating pads.
- If you experience unusual symptoms such as worsening pain, redness, or burning after using the heating pad, discontinue use immediately and consult a doctor.
Statistics: Research has shown that applying heat treatments can improve liver function by 10-15%.
Other Procedures for Liver Health Maintenance
- Cleansing: This method involves flushing the colon with water, which can assist in the removal of toxins and, as some experts believe, even contribute to “cleansing” the liver.
- Improved GI Function: The procedure may help improve peristalsis and reduce constipation, which indirectly has a positive effect on liver function.
- Hydrocolonotherapy may be contraindicated for people with certain GI or liver diseases, so consultation with a doctor is mandatory before undergoing the procedure.
- It’s important to choose a qualified specialist for this procedure.
- Liver Activation: Specialized exercises can stimulate blood circulation in the liver, contributing to its more efficient functioning.
- Overall Improvement: Physical activity has a positive impact on overall metabolism and energy levels, which is important for maintaining liver health.
- Exercises that strengthen the core muscles, respiratory exercises, and aerobic workouts are often recommended for maintaining liver health.
- Consult a doctor before beginning any physical activity program, especially if you have chronic illnesses.
How are the liver and depression related?
It has been found that the presence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) increases the risk of developing depression by 13% (compared to patients without NAFLD). It was also established that the likelihood of developing NAFLD in people with depression was 46% higher (compared to patients without depression).
How do liver problems affect mental health?
The liver is one of the main systems in the human body. If it is not healthy, malfunctions occur throughout the body. This includes the brain: when the liver stops filtering blood properly, toxins begin to poison it. Symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and depression may appear.
How to understand that the liver has malfunctioned?
When there are disruptions in liver function, a person becomes quickly fatigued and loses their appetite. Often these symptoms are associated with other causes (for example, work-related stress) and are not given much importance. However, if you experience prolonged lack of appetite and constant fatigue, it’s essential to consult a doctor.
How do liver problems affect the face?
If the liver fails to properly remove fat from the body, it accumulates in the ducts of the sebaceous glands. As a result, the skin on the face becomes oily, and acne, pimples, and pustules may appear. Premature graying and hair loss can also be indicators of liver problems.
Where does it itch when the liver is diseased?
Typically, itching is most pronounced in the areas of the back and face. In liver diseases, itching is a very common symptom (observed in 80% of cases of liver cirrhosis, and in 15% of all cases of viral hepatitis C). Usually, the itching starts in the areas of the palms and soles, as well as in areas where clothing rubs against the skin.
What do legs say about the liver?
Quite subtle symptoms can indicate the presence of liver problems. For example, cracked heels. Typically, the skin on the heels cracks due to a deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B3, which may occur, in particular, due to liver diseases.
What do liver spots look like?
The main symptom of liver spots is the appearance of dark brown or black spots on the skin. These spots usually appear on exposed areas of the skin, such as the face, hands, and neck. They can vary in shape and size, from small dots to larger spots.
How to understand from the eyes that there are liver problems?
The first sign by which you can determine that there are liver problems is jaundice. First, the whites of the eyes turn yellow, followed by the skin. This happens due to increased production of bilirubin – a pigment of the liver and bile acids. Urine may acquire a darker color, and stools may become more whitish.
What swells with liver disease?
Swelling can occur in the feet, shins, thighs, and abdomen (especially characteristic!). This is accompanied by jaundice of the skin and eyes, bruises on the skin, weakness, heaviness in the right side, weight loss, and sometimes significant liver enlargement.
What smell occurs with a diseased liver?
One of the signs of liver disease is the smell of baked apples from the mouth. This is a specific smell of nitrogenous waste products and occurs because the liver is not providing proper detoxification.
How to determine the presence of parasites in the liver?
Diagnostic methods include duodenal probing, examination of duodenal contents, stool analysis for helminth eggs, ultrasound, CT scans, and liver scintigraphy.
What do nails look like in liver diseases?
Problems also start with the nails—most often, in liver damage, they become white, or white spots and stripes appear on them. A condition known as “Hippocratic nails” can also occur—convex nails on the hands and feet that resemble hourglasses.
What does the tongue look like with liver problems?
A yellow and brown color of the tongue, according to doctors, is a frequent sign of liver diseases, especially in combination with feelings of dryness and burning. An excessively thickened tongue may also indicate liver insufficiency.
The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. The content presented on this website should be considered solely as opinions and personal experiences. Read more