Biotherapeutic drainage is a way of supporting the optimal functioning of the emunctories – our organs of detoxification – through the use of homeopathic remedies, gemmo and oligotherapies, and other nutraceuticals. It is highly compatible with Chinese Medicine approaches to harmonizing organ systems, and can be used quite effectively in conjunction with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to support liver health.
Your “Chinese Liver”
The Liver in Chinese Medicine is said to “store the blood,” and “ensure the free flow of Qi.” These terms are often confusing to Western patients, but can become more clear if we understand that the organ systems described in Chinese medicine encompass more than just the physical organ whose name they share.
When we talk about the “Liver” (we always capitalize to differentiate from the actual physical organ) in Chinese medicine, we mean both the physical functions that the liver performs, as well as the emotional and spiritual aspects of the Liver – as we understand them. For a CM (Chinese Medicine) practitioner, addressing mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of liver health are just as important as treating physical symptoms and conditions.
The Amazing Liver
In Western terms, the liver performs many functions. It stores iron, folic acid, and Vitamin B12. It stores and metabolizes fats, while producing bile which – aided by the gallbladder – helps to emulsify fat. The liver produces up to 3/4 of our cholesterol, both HDL and LDL. Proteins are metabolized by the liver, and sugar is stored and turned into fatty acids in the liver. The liver helps to produce and also eliminate excess hormones in the body. It also filters out and neutralizes all toxic substances that enter the body through the food we eat, what we drink, the air we breathe, and substances we ingest in pharmaceuticals. And these are just a few of its many functions!
Symptoms of Liver Imbalance
Due to the abundance of toxins in our food, water, soil, cleaning products, cosmetics, bath and body products, and pharmaceuticals, the majority of us can benefit from some degree of liver support. However, there are a few symptoms that can definitely signal that your liver is under stress. Headaches, allergies and skin sensitivities, eye problems, sleep issues, fatigue, sluggish digestion, vertigo, and even tendonitis and shoulder pain can be a symptom of a congested or poorly functioning liver. Difficulty focusing, a lack of motivation or creativity, depression, and feeling “in a slump” can also be signs that your liver needs some attention.
Many of these symptoms translate to Liver pathologies in CM. Hypochondriac pain, constipation, headaches, depression, and PMS can all be signs of Liver Qi constraint. Scanty or irregular menses, fatigue, poor concentration, and ligament or tendon issues can point to Liver Blood deficiency. Often multiple symptoms present with a combination of organ imbalances.
Treatment Is Available!
The combination of Chinese Medicine and biotherapeutic drainage can be very effective in supporting liver health. Unda numbers 1, 20, and 243 are a classic drainage combination to support healthy liver function. These formulas contain a special combination of homeopathic rememdies to address the many functions of the liver and gallbladder, including hormone regulation, detoxification, digestive health, and hepatic drainage. Different Unda numbers may be added or substituted to address individual patterns and presentation.
Depending on the condition, I may combine Unda formulas with a CM herbal formula like Xiao Yao San (Free and Easy Wanderer) to move Liver Qi or Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang to nourish Liver Blood. I may also use acupuncture protocols to facilitate movement of Liver Qi, to reduce Heat in the Liver, and nourish or move Liver Blood.
Unda numbered compounds are taken for a period of three weeks with one week off for reevaluation. Similarly, CM herbal formulas may be taken for a period of several weeks or months depending on the nature of the herbs and actions of the formula. Acupuncture protocols vary depending on the nature and severity of presenting symptoms.
To learn more about how biotherapeutic drainage, Chinese herbal medicine, and acupuncture can help you achieve optimal health, reach out and schedule today!
Featured Photo by Annelie Turner on Unsplash