They say that your liver will never be the same after going to New Orleans…

It’s amazing to me how seemingly disparate events in my life can, at times, converge in such a way to reveal a larger, holistic plan taking shape.

I’m not one to believe in cosmic order; in fact, I’m a pretty staunch supporter of the divine chaos theory.  That is, I most certainly believe that all life works in concert with the universe, that we all – and by “we all,” I mean all living things – exist thanks to the universal laws of creation and destruction that is based on the elements of carbon, hydrogren, oxygen, and nitrogen.  In short, that what we are is what they were and what they will become; we are all one – always have been, always will be.  Beyond that basic premise, however, I don’t really believe there’s a larger grand plan predetermined for any of us.

But, it is amazing when you can see a larger cosmic picture forming for your life.

I just started acupuncture last week and was astounded when the doctor pointed to my problem: my liver meridian is unbalanced.  Now, I’d never heard of a liver meridian (obviously, my first thoughts went straight to my New Orleans social habits and the havoc they must have wrought my poor liver), so I took a little time to research the liver meridian and was shocked to learn what it is.  Turns out that your physical liver has little to do with the meridian and its imbalance:

When the wood Qi is weak,  people can be indecisive, without strong direction in life, and stuck. They may be constrained emotionally, unable to express anger.  When the Liver Qi is congested or stagnant, people can be arrogant, over controlling, and have angry dispositions. They may have a tendency to be workaholics or have addictive personalities, including the possibility of abusing drugs and alcohol. They may have digestive problems like bloating, gas, alternating constipation and diarrhea.

When Liver Qi is imbalanced, hot and spicy foods may cause too much heat. Sour and bitter flavors are said to benefit the Liver meridian.  Excessive frustration and irritation can be especially difficult when the Liver meridian is out of balance. Physical exercise and reading can help restore balance. The fall is a vulnerable time, as well as the winds of March, and extremely hot weather.

Common signs of Liver meridian stress include dry, brittle, thickened nails and pain just below the ribs. Common illnesses include migraines, eye problems, and sinus problems. The Liver meridian circles the genitals, and rashes and discharges are associated with its imbalance, as well as hernias. For women, menstrual problems are common including PMS, painful periods, and heavy bleeding. Uterine fibroids may be related to imbalance of the Liver meridian as well. The Liver and Gallbladder meridian pathways traverse the top and sides of the head, the most common sites for migraine headaches.

The Qi of the Wood element flourishes in the spring when plants are sprouting new growth; and the color of this element is green.

(excerpt from

Indecisive yet controlling?  Workaholic?  Angry?  Digestive problems?  Brittle nails?  Sinus problems?  PMS?  Hello!?!  Was this thing written just for my benefit or something?

Apparently, the liver meridian is the seat of emotions – hence, an unbalanced liver meridian indicates emotions that aren’t dealt with.  Cue the rigorous therapy that I’ve been doing to connect with deep-seated traumas, which has really been successful in releasing some deeply ingrained patterns and issues and allowing me to approach my life in a whole new – much more loving – way.  I am so in awe of how things are seeming to work together for my highest good.  Is it simply because I’m actually allowing it to happen, I wonder?  It’s so funny how infertility and IVF was the catalyst to therapy and acupuncture and how it turns out that my soul really required both, regardless of the IVF.  I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to connect with myself on a deeper level, to appreciate all the miraculous biological cogs and wheels that make me who I am.

Get ready to hear me bitch and moan as I fumble through figuring out how to adjust my diet to meet my liver meridian’s needs; apparently, this foodie is going to have to figure out how to cut out refined sugars, fat, meat (except chicken livers), dairy, and all processed food.  (And, yes, I’ve already purchased a POUND of chicken livers.  The traditional logic goes something like, cure the organ with the organ, but I don’t know about chicken livers…)  A nearly vegan diet for a Southern girl who, granted, isn’t much of a meat-eater but loves a good biscuit and gravy every once in a while?  Whose partner would sooner saw off his own arm than give up his thrice-weekly pizza?  This could be epic.

Any and all ideas for mitigating this dietary tragedy and maintaining household harmony are welcome…


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