When we talk about internal organs, in Chinese Medicine, we are not prescribing the same attributes of disease as you might see in Western Medicine.
Therefore when I talk about the Liver, or Heart or Lung - this is not in the same sense as we discuss them in Western medicine. You can have a pattern attributed to the Liver (in Chinese Medicine), but have no recognisable Liver disease.
To understand the Liver, in Chinese Medicine, we must understand it's functions and the role it plays.
Liver's key roles means that Liver patterns can often be seen in clinical practice. It's role in Blood, menstruation, ensuring smooth flow of Qi and how it is affected by emotional states make it a susceptible candidate in this day and age for diagnosis.
The Liver's functions as General are:
SMOOTH FLOW ~ the role of the Liver is to ensure smooth flow and proper direction of Qi to all organs, throughout the body.
a) Has a deep influence on emotions
b) Assists digestion
c) Affects secretion of bile
BLOOD ~ the Liver stores Blood by
a) regulating the volume of Blood in the body - when at rest the Blood is stored in the Liver, but when in physical activity the Blood will flow to the muscles and sinews.
b) regulates menstruation (so periods will be heavily influenced by the Liver)
c) Liver Blood moistens eyes and sinews
ETHEREAL SOUL (HUN) ~ the Liver houses the Hun. The Ethereal Soul influences our planning/direction in life.
ANGER ~ the emotion (and its broad spectrum of meanings which fall under this umbrella term e.g. frustration, resentment - see the Paul Ekman Atlas of Emotions) which most affects the Liver.
GALL BLADDER ~ the Gall Bladder is the Yang pair of the Liver.
Below are some general manifestations of how we might see Liver, in an acupuncture clinic and possible reasons why.
If you are a folx who has periods, in Chinese Medicine, menstruation should be:
a) no pain
b) 28-30 day cycle
c) bleed for 5 days
d) slightly dark red in colour, no clots
e) no PMS
If you, like millions of other folx, who thought that the above was a mythical unicorn - you can start to believe because acupuncture can help you achieve the above!