Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Just kidding. You can’t. But you already have a used liver—so let’s tune it up.
First off, your liver is the largest internal organ, which is good news when it comes to the reflexes because it’s easy to find! Because your actual liver is on the right side of your body, your liver reflex will be on your right foot, specifically, in the upper arch - and on the palm of your right hand, below the knuckle pads. To support optimal liver function, use pressure to glide your thumbs in a grid pattern (glide up and then across), to cover the whole surface area of the liver reflexes. If you find any tender spots, spend more time on them, massaging them until they feel better. Don’t be afraid to give your liver a good workout...it deserves it.
Aside from letting you enjoy that extra glass of wine, here are some of Liver’s favourite pastimes:
Liver likes to build protein. Proteins are made from amino acids. If amino acids were LEGO pieces, your liver would win the LEGO championships every single day by producing, transforming and building millions of proteins for our bodies to use. Some of these amino acids are already in the body; others, called essential amino acids, come from food we eat. We need proteins for vital functions, like growth and maintenance of body tissues-muscles, heart, kidneys and blood vessels. The liver makes hundreds of different proteins, each with different functions. Some transport vitamins and minerals, some (enzymes) speed up metabolic reactions, others regulate cellular activities.
Liver continually produces bile - 400 to 800 ml/day!- which is then stored in the gall bladder, to help break down fats in the duodenum/small intestine. Need I say more? Can't very well eat deep fried clams without a liver, can you?
Liver protects you from bad stuff! It does its best to clear noxious substances from your blood. Think of everything your liver must encounter and neutralize at any given time: preservatives, colourings or animal growth hormones; pharmaceutical drugs, recreational drugs or alcohol, agricultural, industrial or environmental chemicals—yet somehow we survive! The liver kicks out waste from it's normal processes and from toxin removal, as urea into the bloodstream. The kidneys later remove and dispose of waste in urine.
Liver is your 'energy storage' manager. The body breaks down most carbohydrates into a type of sugar called glucose, which is the main source of fuel for our cells. Extra glucose gets stored in the liver, and is called glycogen. Glycogen acts like backup fuel. When a quick burst of energy is needed, or when blood glucose level drops, the liver breaks down glycogen and releases glucose into the bloodstream.
Other stuff... Liver also has a hand in making vital cholesterol, helping blood clot, and breaking down medications so they can have an effect where necessary.
Common liver problems can be anything from a sluggish liver from a high load of toxin processing, to fatty liver from poor diet or alcohol intake. Liver disease can be inherited (genetic) or caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses (hepatitis) or obesity. Over time, damage to the liver can result in scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition.
So here's the liver challenge! Be kind to your liver from the outside-in...give it good things to process, by minimizing toxin intake with healthy food and drink choices. Support liver function with commonly known liver remedies like dandelion tea or green tea. And work those reflexes! At least twice a year, plan 4 to 6 reflexology sessions, either 2 or 3 times a week for two weeks, with the intent of focusing on toxin cleansing. Or work your own liver reflexes, hand and foot, 2-3 times/day for a week.
One more holistic hint! The liver is related to the emotion of anger - especially old, buried anger. During your liver cleanse, if you find yourself irritated or quick to anger, don't be alarmed. But be gentle with yourself (and those around you) and find constructive ways to move the anger emotion toward release. Consider vibrating those vocal chords with a lion's roar, and help the liver be free and clear for all the important work it does for you every day.
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