The body is an organic universe of mutually interacting systems. In the following discussion, we’re going to look at back pain through the lens of liver imbalance. First, we’ll take a look at some sites on the back that when sore indicate some type of liver imbalance. Next we’ll talk about the nature of liver imbalance., what it actually means. Finally, we’ll discuss the role of acupuncture and moxa in restoring balance.
Back Sites Associated With the Liver
What you’re looking at is zones associated with with the vertebrae of the spine. . . more or less. Direct your attention to the following three spots on the right:
C3 isn’t indicated in the image, but it is just above the C4. T3-6 is an area that is directly above the live. The C8 area roughly corresponds to the trapezius muscle. Incidentally, there is no “C8” on the spine. When pain, tension, and tenderness affect these areas, then the root of the problem lies less at the site of pain than at the liver.
Chinese Medicine and the Liver
Chinese medicine perspectives toward the body can appear quite fanciful if one cannot decipher the meanings behind the language used to describe it. Since the function of organs forms a complex system of relationships, it is frequent that the source physical imbalance lies in one or more of these relationships.
Chinese medicine is not a cryptic as the language suggests. Diagnosis of the liver hinges upon function, either not enough or too much. The terminology can be reduced to being either deficiency or excess. Often both are involved. Deficient energy to carry out normal hormonal and filtering action, and excess in terms of the congestion that deficient function that arises from deficiency.
The liver in Chinese medicine is associated with stress. Emotional factors at home and work can elicit responses that affect liver function, perhaps more than other organs. In fact, liver imbalance in circumstances of stress can lie at the root of conditions that espress through other organs. This is what is meant by the relationships between the organs. For example, asthma, a lung condition, can be caused by liver imbalance caused by emotional shock or stress. Sole focus upon the lung will not provide as efficient a treatment as treating both. The situation with back pain is no different.
Gallbladder, Liver’s Sister
A fair bit of back pain can be attributed to the gallbladder, the sister organ of the liver. The gallbladder is responsible for breaking down fats through the production of bile. When it is involved with back pain, usually in the T5-7 area, then treatment focus shifts. Gallbladder pain tends to be acute and is particularly characterized by spasmotic pain that occurs upon inhalation. Acupuncture along with nutrional and herbal interventions can rectify this situation.
Acupuncture for Liver-Related Back Pain
Acupuncture treats liver-related back pain by addressing liver function. “Address” here means to treat liver excess or deficiency. It is not uncommon that both require treatment, since excess and deficiency are closely related. Addressing deficiency normally is effective in resolving pain at C3. Excess treatment can be effective for the traps. The area of T5-7 can be the result of both excess and deficiency. Both conditions can be treated in a single session but not simultaneously. If the feet are cold, then it is not uncommon to first warm them with moxa or a heat lamp before administering needles. Benefits from a liver treatment are enjoyed instantly, as points are only selected based upon the patient’s response in real time.
The role of proper diagnosis cannot be underestimated in instances of back pain. Often, treatments like massage or baths can do the trick in remedying simple muscle pain. When these prove of little benefit, then might be a good option to consider, as its effects penetrate deeper than the muscle layer and are more pointed (ahem) to boot.
There is no single cause for back pain. However, in instances where the traps, C3, and/or T5-7 are involved, it is reasonble to suspect liver imbalance as playing a role. The gallblader should be eliminated from contributing to back pain as well. The nature of onset and pain are distinguishing factors. Acupuncture can provide instant relief from liver-related back pain. In constrast to therapies like massage, acupuncture affects more than just muscle tissue.