Chinese Meridians and Vision Series - Liver

The health of the eyes is related to the health of the liver -- not the liver organ that we think of first, but the liver meridian.

In Chinese medicine, meridians are "rivers of energy" that course through our bodies. They form a map that enables acupuncturists to determine treatment strategies for helping their patients heal. There are 71 Chinese meridians, of which 12 of which are specifically related to organs such as the Heart, Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Lung.

According to Chinese medicine, when energy is blocked, we have pain and disease. When energy flows, we have health. It is the job of an acupuncturist to determine where the energy is blocked, and to help unblock the energy so the body can go about healing itself.

The Liver meridian has five primary functions. It stores blood, maintains the free flow of the qi (energy), dominates the tendons, manifests in the nails, and opens into the eyes. Liver is associated with the Wood element. The primary emotion associated with the Liver is anger, and the personality type is the Type A personality.

In relation to eye conditions, Liver imbalances can result in the following:

  1. Liver Yang (heat) Rising - open-angle glaucoma, dizziness, vertigo
  2. Liver Fire Flaring Up - migraines, optic
  3. Liver Yin Deficiency - dry eyes, inflammatory eye diseases, excessive lacrimation, pain, photophobia, impaired night vision and general vision loss, blurred vision, dark vision, headaches
  4. Liver Blood Deficiency - dry eyes, macular degeneration, blurred vision, night blindness
  5. Liver Congestion - dark circles under the eyes, jaundice resulting in yellow discoloration in the eyes, floaters
  6. Wind Heat of the Liver meridian - redness, swelling and pain of eyes, teary eyes, blurred vision, fear of light (photophobia)