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Spring & Liver Detox



And today it’s very exciting because I’m going to be talking about the spring time and the liver detox.

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hello and welcome. My name is Tsao-Lin Moy. I’m a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist with a brick and mortar practice in union square in New York city. And I’d like to thank the American Acupuncture Council for providing this platform where we are able to share information and knowledge. For our community, both the patients we serve and also the professional community to keep dialogue open about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help people make informed decisions about their health.

And today it’s very exciting because I’m going to be talking about the spring time and the liver detox. Okay. So we’ll, let’s go to this slide. So springtime as a. You practitioners know is considered the time of the liver. It coincides with wood and the emotions are anger. The energy is moving up. We have this energy of pushing through the earth.

So during the winter months, which is the kidney time, is this a time of hibernation and also the energy. The emotion can be a lot of fear. And we have been experiencing a lot of that because we’ve got these news cycles and if we don’t release and detox from that, we end up getting. A lot of built up frustration and anger and you can, you see how it will affect our emotions and our patients.

And important that we are with the season, we look to move with the season and that actually makes it a lot easier for healing to happen. Okay. So spring element is, would also relating to the liver and gallbladder. We’ve got the energy of movement and also. The warmer weather and increased sunlight, which is great because that means we can get some vitamin D and that is also a metabolized and made through the liver.

So when you have good liver function, you are actually able to produce enough vitamin D emergence from the cold again, hibernation, and really from, as we’re moving out of the pandemic. We have a lot of stress hormones, a lot of people, maybe your patients were self-medicating with alcohol. People are on a lot of like multiple or poly farm, a lot of medication like anti-anxiety blood pressure, cholesterol, and not sleeping well, not exercising.

And so as the weather gets warmer, we’re going to start to have this movement and I want to be able to help our liver detox. So the, if we work with the energy of the season, which is now the liver energy, it’s a lot easier because we’re going with the flow. We’re not going against nature. We’re actually using the rhythm of the seasons and aligning our biological clock.

To heal right. Facilitate healing and yes, if anybody has questions, please drop them in the chat. Let me know. If you have something that you want to ask me let me know if this is interesting for you. If you have Some comments. And yeah, let me know where you are.

If you’re in New York or California or Australia just give us let us know in the chat. So in Chinese medicine, the liver is role is to, is the smooth flow of cheat. Also the emotions and the blood liver stores, the blood. And also filters and detoxifies. So at nighttime, if you’re not sleeping well, then you’re also, your liver is not processing.

Now the interesting thing about the liver, it is the only visceral Oregon that possesses the ability to regenerate. And interestingly that if somebody 50 to 60% of the liver cells can actually be. Killed let’s say for example, in a, someone overdoses on Tylenol, that can happen.

You have a lot of, if you have patients that have pain in their medicating with Tylenol, it is possible. Hey Alan, in the Berkshire it is possible to really kill, like really destroy your liver. And the thing is that the liver can actually completely repair in 30 days. If there are no other complications, meaning they don’t have other problems going on in their system.

So let’s go. Oops. Okay. So here we’ve got a. The anatomy of the liver. And if you can take a look at where it is. It literally crosses over the entire midsection and really like stips right under the diaphragm. So things like, with liver, it’s like the sighing, the feeling you can’t take a deep breath.

And the reason is because the liver, if it gets swollen and irritated, it’s right up against the diaphragm and with. Make it very difficult to breathe and then also can actually affect the stomach, right? Because the it’s continues to cause contractions in the the diaphragm and that’s where we get the flank pain, difficulty breathing.

And then the referral pattern of, feeling the throat is clearing up is clogging up the plumping. So here oh, we’ll go to the next slide. We’ll talk a little bit more. So the major, the five major functions of the liver, and this is according to Western medicine is. Digestion metabolism and detoxification protein synthesis, and actually storage of vitamins and minerals, which I think is probably in Chinese medicine.

When they talk about the liver, storing the blood maybe really meaning nutrition or neutral. Nutrients for the blood, right? So blood has to have a lot of oxygen nutrients for it to bring to all the other organs and the different parts of your body. Also as an aside, recent studies actually show that the liver has a regulatory function in the central nervous system.

And is innervated by both the sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers, which really does mean, it is responsible for the smooth flow of emotion, right? So there’s a feedback loop that actually happens and comes together. When we’re feeling either in a place of fear or also facilitating a place of rest.

And just another, for all you acupuncture people out there, practitioners to really take a look of the picture on the right, gives you an overview of where the liver is. And then on the left. We’re looking at, Hey, look at where all these points are. And in particular, you look at a CD, 12 moot point of the stomach.

It will really land right where that ligament is for the liver and just surrounds it. So it’s really between the liver and the. Great. And see B12 is a point for making blood. It’s a blood point. It’s a very important point. And then the other points that are on the abdomen, but the different move points, you start to look at where they are in terms of surrounding the liver and the gallbladder, and actually how that helps to increase circulation and lymph flow and really functionality.

So liver patterns I made a list here. I’m not going to go over the patterns because that is as entire modules in the foundations of Chinese medicine for the most part as a refresher like liver cheese stagnate. Really any kind of liver issue is most there’s stagnation involved.

Of course, blood led deficiency. We’ve got energy, the young rising, a lot of wind, when we see wind, we know that liver is involved. A lot of digestive it’s always, liver is involved in that to gallbladder the dam, Pete, and any kind of blood deficiency. And for sure, a women’s health and reproductive health.

So one of the things that I would say is, especially around this time in the spring also allergies, we’re getting allergies and you get itchy. That’s a liver thing to really take a look at your patients and whatever their you have as their diagnostic, just to look at it from a perspective of liver oh, how is the liver involved in this?

And I think that is a, a very interesting angle to look at. You can actually do it for other organs too, but really what role does liver play in this? And if we do a detox and I’ll talk a little bit more about detox what does that mean for the outcome? And especially you want to do it now cause springtime, right?

Okay. So liver congestion, we have in this country, a lot of liver congestion and fatty liver stress hormones, they increase the enzymes in the liver and cause inflammation, toxins, chemicals, antibiotics, medication, plastics are huge. Apparently a lot of microscopic particles we consume about credit cards worth of plastic per week.

And our body has to. Process that or not. It’s also all over the environment. So even when you’re having the healthiest diet it you’re, we’re still being influenced by the things that we don’t have control over. We see in the U S a lot of metabolic syndromes, like diabetes, pre-diabetes insulin resistance.

Especially with polycystic ovary syndrome, a huge, more than 50% of our population is. And then what follows is, cholesterol, triglycerides, and high blood pressure. Like these become the that’s the triple where we see then the next thing is heart disease. A lot of people will have their.

Gallbladder removed a li like cirrhosis, all of like alcohol, a lot of the problems are not necessarily coming from a consumption of only alcohol, but it’s the, it’s all of it. Know our lifestyle, the foods, a lot of things that are called food are not really food, their product. And they lack so much nutrition that they actually have to add in vitamins and stuff.

And we’ve got a lot of endocrine disease and disruption and allergies, a lot of allergies and sensitivity. So that gives us a clue that the liver is getting overwhelmed and is not able to filter.

Statistics. And this is an old statistic. About 20% of adults have fatty liver, 5% of children, and this is really linked to obesity. And then again, two thirds of obese adults and half of the children that are obese have fatty liver, which is pretty scary because that is going to. Predict, with an actuary, how many people are going to end up on medications if they don’t do something right.

And a lot is this non-alcoholic fatty liver, right? So this comes from a lot of food relief. And also what I want to say is menopausal women post men in their fifties, the lower estrogen also increases things like fatty liver and metabolic changes. Pros and cons of detoxing. The pros are a liver detox program.

And what w what a program looks like is going to help the organ itself work as efficiently as possible. And this is because the liver organ that’s its job is to detox and to filter. So we’re looking at. If you have a healthy liver, you want to help it along. It’s going to relieve inflammation and toxicity in the body.

It also will help to lose weight because a lot of toxins are things like chemicals and pesticides are in a steroid type. I guess form. And what they do is that toxicity will then bond with fat cells. So if you’re trying to lose weight, what happens is you have to detox your body. So then the fat can actually metabolize.

And again, that reduce can reduce cholesterol and it’s sport it, supporting the liver, doing its job. And we’re really looking at balance and harmony, right? The cons of it. And this is really. Based on a Western model. There’s no evidence that we need to detox. And actually, obviously that’s not true.

But it’s really gonna come down to how are we going to detox? Certain programs increased that we don’t really know, they, they’re not really measured, but for our purposes in Chinese medicine, we actually look at a lot of other things, we look, is your skin getting better, if it’s working, are you having better? Bowel moves? How about are you have better sleep, also, on the market. And this is really more of the Western stuff. That’s out there with supplements. They’re, they’re very extreme and anything that’s extreme is gonna put a stress on the body and then actually have the opposite effect.

Also a lot of the detox supplements. There’s no. It, unless you’re able to really have a good digestive system and absorb. And that’s the idea of like detoxing or digestion is that your digestive system is working so that you’re actually able to absorb and process nutrients. And if that’s not happening then all these like supplements and things that are being marketed.

Are really going to just clog up your system. You’ll get minimum benefit from it. So really have to look at what does, when we say detoxing things like maybe fasting for a little while and just having fluids. So allow your your body to get a break that is also a way of helping to detox, and eating better foods. Simple steps to guide your patients. Definitely food diet there. Herbal teas, exercise, breath, work, massage acupuncture. So next. Okay. So it within the diet and you might already know. Of course of food. Food is one form of Chinese medicine, one of the eight branches and really eating within season, looking at the five elements.

What are the flavors? What are the the meridians and the organs that they help? So food as medicine for the liver and to actually lower, let’s say, lower cholesterol, or try to get glycerides, eating things. Green vegetables, steamed roasted, right? Not fried, using less of those oils.

You want it to be very easy to break down garlic and onions. Research shows that actually improves Habad hepatic function. So you start to look at. Adding certain kinds of foods into what you’re eating, and also the way that you cook the food sour and fermented foods like coleslaw pickles kimchi are also probiotic and prebiotic interesting lemon, lemon with water, they say, wake up in the morning, have a little lemon with water.

That it actually helps the liver to produce more of those enzymes to start metabolizing mushrooms. They’re very high in nutrient dense, low in calorie, and also have many antioxidants and anti-microbial properties immune function, they are a food. They also can boost the levels of leptin and leptin is that the hormone that tells you’re full and also helps to metabolize.

Coffee so recent I didn’t have a chance to put it in to the slide, to actually be in the slide. But like a new study is found that, coffee all kinds lowers the risk of liver disease and fatty liver cancer and death from liver disease. And really the benefit comes from drinking three to four cups of coffee, even de.

So they say and we’re looking at, it’s not about the caffeine. It is about what is the bean itself, if you’re going to have decaf, you need to make sure that it is the way that it’s processed. All of those things. So not just any coffee, like w you really want to take a look if you’re gonna drink coffee and coffee is a very strong has a strong psycho effects in the brain, neuro psycho effects in the brain.

It’s extremely strong, right? The also caffeine, has a big effect. The other thing you want to do is avoid animal proteins. You want to steer clear of a lot of. Meet a better to go with a fish something clean, like I wanna say cleaner, but easier to digest. Also dairies, very hard. A lot of people can not digest dairy and cheeses.

The other thing too is we’re looking at most of the dairy that we have is very, it comes from two cows or two to two genetically I would say modified but really bread. So they maximize output of milk. And so what happens is we don’t have a lot of variety and interestingly enough, that a lot more people are showing up as having a lactose intolerance again, avoiding processed foods because they add lots of chemicals and again, they may not even be food.

They may be products, that have little bits of food in it. Sugar is like a killer. You want to not have sugar? There’s plenty of things that you can have in fruits and vegetables, et cetera, et cetera, which your body will break down into the sugars that it needs again, alcohol. And if you are smoking really important to not smoke cigarettes, right?

Lots of chemicals and things your body has to process. So this is a, this is what detox would look like. Healthy living, herbal teas, and herbs. So dandelion, I put in dandelion, right? It’s poo gonging. It’s a. Antidiabetic antioxidative anti-inflammatory studies show that it ha acts on inhibiting oxidative stress in the liver reduces cholesterol and even reverses the streptozotocin induced diabetes, which is coming from taking a chemo drug.

So it’s really interesting that what I like about this is that you can actually buy. Dandelion tea over the counter. You can just tell your patients, go to traditional medicinals or you can buy, the dandelion and make it right. So very easy to do with not complicated.

Again. Chuck who Sao that’s more of an urban clear as in purge is heat a lot of like swamp swellings. It’s a summer drink. You can bring. Chrysanthemum again, milk fissile as well, and interesting Allo, it actually helps to clear the liver and constipation and kills parasites. A lot of people are, have parasites and a lot of digestive problems, and this is one way like clearing out toxins.

We’re looking at, okay, you’re activating this process and then you need to make sure that. And then again looking for drinking more like black tea or green tea, right? Because of its antioxidant effects.

Exercise stretching movement in particular like twisting movements, because that will actually massage the liver and also the organs. And so this is an opportunity like why exercise actually helps because as you’re moving, you’re also breathing and that will push down the diaphragm. And that actually helps to massage and milk, the organs to get their The blood and the lymph and the circulation

breathwork. And here just as an example of actually from the sod, you look at, it actually regulates the nervous system. And it also will help with the restorative sleep physically. You start to look at how the movement of the diaphragm and again, where the liver is seated will actually help to increase the limp flow and circulation.

And also you’re increasing oxygen into your body, which then you also, as you exhale, you are exhaling any of the Toxins. So you’re helping to filter out of the body in the system, giving it the oxygen it needs. And these are all free. You can do this on your own. It’s also just a great practice, especially if you feel like you’re sighing that’s a good sign that you need to do something.

Massage and lymph drainage. So the liver is the largest contributor of limb production. It accounts for up to one half of the body’s lymph fluid and, working with a massage therapist or actually certain kinds of movements are going to help to clear lymph and waste and swelling. And you can actually see, with patients have a little puffy phase puffy legs.

Poor circulation. We really want to help to. Drain the lymph. And most 70% of lymph vessels are just right under the surface of the skin. So things like skin brushing or gently, you could even probably do some lymph massage on yourself to help the flow. And also, people who have experienced a R serve up, have survived from cancer.

They have a, they really need to repair their liver, acupuncture and acupressure. You guys know all about acupuncture. And again at the beginning I said, the strategy and maybe think about how the liver is going to play a role in your patient’s health, especially now to shift from, okay, I’m going to do what I’m going to do.

My patient center. Custom radically customized treatment. And then I’ve got to see oh, from this angle, maybe liver is a big, like it is a big thing, but it really like slight shift of let me go with the season. Acupressure and Meridian massage, especially along the inner, the inner thigh, the legs, the liver spleen and kidney channels, really helping to move all of that up to, towards the big lymph area of.

The inner thigh and go to the next slide, I guess we’re done with that. So really I have to say very exciting is doing, the research right. To prepare for, Hey, what w what am I going to talk about? And the more that you dig in and research, especially if you suspect as a practitioner that there’s something connected to something else, you can actually go down a rabbit hole and find a lot of information.

And I, when it back in and I was looking at aloe, I was like, wow, aloe. Yeah, it’s good for digestion. But then I said, Hey, it, it actually relieves parasites too. And. And worms, and we never know we’re, where our food comes from. And so a very gentle and easy way for someone to drink a little bit of aloe juice and just help to gently move things.

And I think it’s a lot easier for your patients to incorporate yes. Drinking more water. I didn’t put that down, but it’s pretty obvious. If they can just add in some lemon to their water. It’s going to actually help them if they are thinking about when they’re moving or the movement to incorporate some kind of body twisting and moving and breathing, as a kind of meditative form, of course, we have to detox ourselves from social media, right? That’s a form of consumption, which really causes a lot of stress hormones. And that actually we see probably a lot of that, with irritability. And anger. And then of course, I talked about last time, a amygdala takeover and more inflammation.

And that would be really, a big area to really look at. Of course you need the social media because we’re doing this with the American Acupuncture Council. The but to really think about doing that just like a spring fast or something to take a break from some of the news that you’re reading and really like clear, clear out.

And again, also, in your home when to clear out the thoughts in your mind, but also, spring detox is also spring cleaning and maybe start to just really. Some of the attachment and also the fear that we’ve been, really take a look at that and how that’s been affecting our life.

So please comment and you want to join us next week with Poney Chiang he is going to be doing a fantastic presentation and please comments and messages. And also if there’s something that you really want to, some topics. That you were finding. Interesting. There’s always more so just know that this is all very much on the surface just to spark your curiosity and keep everything fresh.