As we all know, the liver is situated in the right hypochondriac region. Its meridian connects with the gallbladder with which it is internally-externally related. Its main physiological functions are: storing blood, maintaining the free flow of qi, controlling the tendons, manifesting in the nails and opening into the eyes.
Liver stores blood and regulates the volume in circulation. During vigorous movement and other daytime activities, the blood is released from the liver, increasing the volume of blood in circulation. During rest and sleep, the volume of blood required decreases, and part of the blood remains in the liver. The liver is closely related to all the activities of the zang-fu organs and tissues. When the liver is diseased, dysfunction of the liver in storing blood will affect the normal activities of the body. For example: deficiency of liver blood may give rise to blurred vision, spasm and convulsion of the tendons and muscles, numbness of the four limbs, and oligomenorrhea or even amenorrhoea on females.
Maintaining the free flow of qi
The liver is responsible for the unrestrained, free going, and harmonious functional activity of all the zang-fu organs, including it. Emotional activity is closely related to the liver qi. When the function of the liver in maintaining the free flow of qi is normal, and can the qi and blood be harmonious and the mind at ease. Dysfunction of the liver, therefore, is often accompanied by emotional changes such as mental depression, when liver qi is hyperactive, there may be insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, dizziness and vertigo.
Controlling the tendons and manifesting in the nails
The tendons are the main tissues linking the joints and muscles and dominating the movement of the limbs. Since the liver nourishes the tendons of the whole body to maintain their normal physiological activities, when liver blood is consumed, it may deprive the tendons of nourishment and give rise weakness of the tendons, numbness of the limbs, and dysfunction of the joints in contraction and relaxation. The state of yin and blood of liver affects not only the movement of tendons but also the condition of the nails. When liver blood is ample, the tendons and nails are strong, and when liver blood is deficient, the tendons will be weak and the nail soft and thin, withered, or even deformed and chipped.
Opening into the eyes
The liver is the main organ affecting the eyes and vision. The liver stores blood and its meridian ascends to connect with the eyes. For example: deficiency of the yin and blood of the liver may lead to dryness of the eyes, blurred vision or even night blindness. Wind heat in the Liver Meridian may give rise to redness swelling and pain of the eyes.
Naturalane Health Centre — Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine Clinic in Brisbane