Ask Abdi: What Energy Practices Are Helpful For Stress And Liver?

The Question

I am a yoga practitioner and teacher. Having gone through a full hysterectomy almost one year ago I can not say enough about how yoga is helping me stay centered and calm the challenges that can come over me sometimes. Its given my own body the chance for natural self healing without any modern medicine.I am so grateful for that. My confidence was lost for a while but is now returning, thankfully too.

I have Hepatitis C and wondering if could you please suggest any chi movements to help shift ‘old wounds ‘ in the body? I’m about to make new changes in my environment in the fall, so my liver is talking to me. It feels a bit heavy at times, because I am doing something that my ‘body’ doesn’t like: changes.

Abdi Answers
So wonderful that you have your practice as an ally to heal the trauma that you have undergone. Any body centered practice is a powerful adjunct to healing that the body mind needs to undergo. Obviously be gentle with your self as you go through this change.

I obviously can not give you medical advice without actually examining you but there are several things I have found helpful for liver conditions over the years that I will share with you. Let me start by putting on my clinical cap on:

In terms of Hepatitis C which is so prevalent right now, having annual blood work and an ultrasound of the liver is important to keep abreast of what is going on. I understand your stance against modern/allopathic medicine. It is a powerful tool for acute trauma/infections etc but is sorely lacking for chronic issues. At the same time, its strength does lie in clinical diagnosis and as such can be useful here. So finding a physician that works with complementary medicine or a naturopath can be helpful in order to do those tests to see what physical shape the liver is in. The liver is an amazing organ in that it can self heal more than most given the proper attention.

On a nutritional level, sugar, fried and processed foods as well as alcohol do severely affect the liver so stay clear of those as I am sure you already are. Green lightly steamed veggies are excellent in all forms as are small amounts of green fresh vegetable juices. Digestive enzymes with meals are good to make sure the digestion is complete and taking pressure off the liver. Also, beware of cooking in iron pans: high iron is contra indicated for liver health. A liver cleanse using nutritional/supplemental support is also desirable. Many times without such support and using diet alone, much of the toxins are reabsorbed by the body.

Supplement wise, a high potency daily Milk Thistle supplement is crucial. There is much research on this and it has no side effects. Ultra Thistle by Natural Wellness is one I use myself. Keeping Gultathione levels high is also crucial but since this substance does not do well in the digestive tract, the precursors of NAC and Alpha Lipoic Acid are readily available and quite useful. Again, I recommend that you work with a practitioner familiar with supplements to get the appropriate dosing for your situation.

As an energetic structure, the liver is prone to disturbances from stress more than most organs. The term “livery” where a person is agitated is connected to this link. Remember that chronic thinking is the biggest stressor which in turn leads to shallow breathing. As such, any form of daily relaxation/meditation/exercise does wonders. Deep breathing is helpful as stress leads to shallow, irregular breathing. Pranayama is useful and since the liver tends to run “hot” energetically under stress or viral attack, cooling breathing exercises such as Shitali are helpful.

In terms of chi exercises, The Six Healing Sounds meditation is a powerful tool addressing the main internal organs. Mantak Chia has some clear material regarding its practice. These types of practices are best learned from a practitioner so that one gets clear direction. There are practitioners that have studied his techniques spread across the country.

Any emotional work is also important. Whether accessing this through therapy or the myriad of techniques available now a days, releasing old emotional junk helps lighten the load on the liver literally.