Simple Tips for Keeping Your Family Healthy

By P. Sze | Last updated: December 15, 2022

Cleanse Your Silent Organ: 7 Useful Acupressure Points For Liver Detox

The liver is known as the “silent organ” because it has few nerves. It is the primary filtering system in the body that converts toxins from the blood into waste. In some cases, however, the liver can stop working correctly due to a build-up of fat in the liver cells, inflammation, or even fibrosis in more severe cases. In the traditional Chinese medicine system, the Liver is the organ responsible for maintaining the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body, in addition to storing Blood. When the Liver gets sick, you can use acupressure points for liver detox to help it recover its normal function.

What Causes The Liver To Diminish Its Function?

Photo by Jessica Henderson on Unsplash

Your liver is responsible for filtering toxins out of your blood, metabolizing nutrients, synthesizing essential proteins, and storing minerals as well as vitamins. Since the essence of everything you eat must pass through your liver, the quality of the foods you ingest is directly connected to your liver health. Therefore, things like alcohol, sugar, fried foods, and other less harmful foods like red meat and white bread can be detrimental to your liver health when consumed in excess.

The excess calories you ingest build up in the liver cells as the lives stop metabolizing them as they normally should. As a result, your liver may become inflamed, gradually decreasing its functions. In extreme cases, liver inflammation evolves into cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver becomes scarred and hardens over time.

Other problems affecting your liver are viral infections like hepatitis, which can be transmitted either by fecal-oral contact, sexual intercourse, or blood contamination. Some medications, including herbal supplements and certain industrial chemicals, can also harm the liver and cause complications.

Can Acupuncture Detox My Liver?

According to a meta-analysis of fifteen scientific studies on the effects of acupuncture on the liver, acupuncture points for liver detox can promote fat metabolism in the liver cells, inhibit inflammatory responses, reduce oxidative stress, and inhibit fibrogenic cell proliferation, among other important effects. In addition, after the treatment with acupuncture for liver detox, the patients have shown a reduction in the fibrous tissues and mitigation of necrosis in their livers.

Yet another meta-analysis study comprising eight randomized controlled trials and 939 patients has shown that acupuncture therapy at specific pressure points for liver detox improved overall clinical efficacy in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

These results are very significant since, currently, the treatment options for patients with liver conditions aren’t many. Chinese medicine offers a treatment that is both effective and free of adverse effects. A therapy with acupressure points for liver health can be done as a single treatment in most cases, as long as it is accompanied by a correction in the habits that might be harming the liver when it applies.

What Are The Acupressure Points For Liver Detox?

The acupressure points for liver detox have many different functions within the meridian system. In Chinese medicine, the Liver is an organ that stores Blood and supplies it to the whole body, especially the uterus, during menstruation through a channel called Chong Mai. The Liver in TCM is also responsible for maintaining the smooth flow of Qi throughout the entire meridian network.

Organs like the Kidneys, Heart, and Spleen have a great influence on the Liver, and damage in the Liver is detrimental to the whole body in very clear ways. The Liver is also easily susceptible to suffering when exposed to stress. The result is usually a syndrome called Liver Qi Stagnation, which can be treated using these acupressure points for liver health.

Acupoint: KD-9 (Other Names: Kidney-9/Zhu Bin/Guest House)

Find this acupoint on the inner side of your lower leg, below the gastrocnemius muscle, 1 cun posterior to the medial border of the tibia.

KD-9 is a command point in acupressure for liver detox. This is a general detoxification acupoint from the Kidney channel. It is said that KD-9 is an elimination point to release poisons associated with fluids. Zhubin, as this point is also called, is the xi-Cleft point of the Yin Wei channel, the channel that connects all yin meridians. Besides its important detoxification functions, this point is excellent for calming the mind and generating milk in nursing mothers. This is also one of the pressure points for thigh pain.

Use your thumbs to press on this point for a few seconds. It may hurt a little, but press firmly. Repeat the pressure and release for about three minutes.

Acupoint: Liv-4 (Other Names: Liver-4/Zhong Feng/Middle Margin)

You can find this point on your ankle, anterior to the prominence of the medial malleolus bone.

Among all acupressure points for liver health, zhongfeng must be highlighted for its detoxifying function. The stimulation of this acupoint spreads the qi of the Liver and clears the channel from stagnant Heat. When the fat builds up in the liver cells, it causes stagnation and Heat, or even Damp-Heat. The stimulation of Liv-4 will help to move the qi and clear the stagnation, improving the fat metabolism in the liver.

You can press this point firmly for a few seconds, releasing it intermittently for about three minutes.

Acupoint: Liv-3 (Other Names: Liver-3/Tai Chong/Supreme Rush)

Acupoint: Liv-3 (Other Names: Liver-3/Tai Chong/Supreme Rush)

Liv-3 is located on the dorsum of the foot, in the hollow between the big toe and the second toe, approximately 2 fingers-breadth from the web.

Taichong, as this acupoint is also referred to, is extremely important among all liver detox acupressure points. It belongs to the Liver channel and is a command point for a syndrome known as Liver Qi Stagnation when the qi gets blocked in the Liver, causing Heat and other generalized problems. Stagnation of Liver qi may result from the failure of yin or Blood to moisten, nourish and soften the Liver. Liv-3 functions as the great passageway for the flow of qi in the channel. It is a primary point for promoting the free flow of Liver qi. Liv-3 is also useful in acupressure for back inflammation.

From a sitting position, you can reach your feet, pressing firmly on this point for a few seconds and releasing intermittently for about three minutes. It may hurt a little, but press firmly.

Acupoint: SP-3 (Other Names: Spleen-3/Tai Bai/Great White)

Find this point on the side posterior and inferior to the head of the first metatarsal bone on your feet.

SP-3 is an acupressure point from the Spleen meridian that regulates the Stomach and is effective for abdominal distention when pressed together with Liv-3. This acupoint is indicated to strengthen the digestive system as a whole. It enhances energy and improves mood. In Western medicine, SP-3 is used in diabetics to stimulate the pancreas and effectively reduce insulin intake. It’s recommended to mitigate symptoms of all liver injuries. It’s one of the acupressure points for Spleen inflammation.

How to stimulate Liv-3 and SP-3? Sit cross-legged and push the acupressure points with your hand in the same direction as the leg you want to push. Put your index finger on Liv-3 and your thumb on SP-3, and press them together like pinching.

Acupoint: Liv-6 (Other Names: Liver-6/Zhong Du/Central Capital)

Find this acupoint on the middle of the inner side of your lower leg, on the posterior margin of the tibia bone.

This acupoint is known as the xi-cleft point of the Liver channel. The xi-cleft points are where the qi and blood, which flow relatively superficially along the channel at this point, gather and plunge more deeply. In general, the xi-cleft points are indicated in treating acute conditions and pain, and this one has an additional action in treating disorders of Blood.

Massage this point by applying pressure together with movement for about three minutes on both sides.

Acupoint: Liv-5 (Other Names: Liver-5/Li Gou/Gnawed Channel)

Liv-5 can be found on the inner side of the lower leg, 5 cun above the prominence of the medial malleolus, posterior to the medial margin or the tibia.

Ligou LIV-5, the luo-connecting point of the Liver channel, is a major point for treating diseases in this area. The ability of LIV-5 to clear Liver Qi Stagnation and damp-heat extends to the lower abdomen as a whole. It’s considered a point that anchors and stabilizes in cases of chronic illnesses and is specifically used for genital and urinary conditions, including menstruation disorders.

Massage this point vigorously with your fingers for about three minutes.

Acupoint: Bl-18 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-18/Gan Shu/Liver Transporter)

This point is located two finger-breadths lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of T9 on the paravertebral muscles.

In clinical settings, this point is usually referred to in cases when the Liver is already injured. It’s very potent among all acupressure points for liver detox to restore Liver function, regardless of the condition. It has a strong action on regulating and tonifying the Liver at the deepest level. It’s recommended when there is distention and pain of the lateral costal region, the fullness of the chest, cough with chest pain, blurred vision, redness of the eyes, night blindness, excessive lacrimation, and for any diagnosed liver illness. It’s also one of the pressure points for eye floaters.

Press this acupoint firmly for a few seconds and then release it, repeating this procedure for about three minutes daily.

Takeaways

You can use the above-mentioned acupressure points as an adjunct treatment for many different liver ailments. However, it’s important that while you apply the treatment with acupressure, you also follow good habits according to your health condition. Several scientific studies endorsing acupuncture treatment show that an appropriate and continuous treatment can be very beneficial for your liver health.

  • KD-9 is an elimination point to release poisons associated with fluids in all body systems. Liv-4 help to move the qi and clear the stagnation, improving lipid metabolism in the liver.
  • Liv-3 treats Liver Qi Stagnation, clearing Heat from the channel and calming the mind.
  • SP-3 is an acupressure point from the Spleen meridian that regulates the Stomach and is effective for abdominal distention when pressed together with Liv-3.
  • Liv-6 is the xi-cleft point of the Liver channel. It treats acute conditions and pain, as well as disorders of Blood.
  • LIV-5 clears Liver Qi Stagnation and damp-heat that extends to the lower abdomen as a whole. It anchors and stabilizes in cases of chronic illnesses.
  • Bl-18 has a strong action on regulating and tonifying the Liver at the deepest level.

Written by

P. Sze

P. Sze

P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. She also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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