What do migraine headaches, mid-back and right shoulder pain, knee pain, gas and bloating, irregularity, and acute neck pain all have in common? The gallbladder, and its energetic counterpart, the gallbladder meridian.
Western Medicine often takes the stance that the gallbladder is an unnecessary organ, and that once it shows problematic, the recommendation to have it removed is often presented. Although it is possible to continue to live without some of our vital organs, discarding them surgically at the first signs of discomfort should not be the only thought. When symptoms arise that point to a sluggish or unhealthy gallbladder, there is a possibility of resolving the issue and pain without surgery, but for that to occur making major lifestyle changes may be essential.
Many times, insufficient digestion and low stomach acid are an underlying problem which creates massive amounts of debris that must be dealt with by the liver and then the gallbladder. Over time, the load on the liver becomes so overwhelmed that it can no longer handle detoxing blood fully. Stones form and the bile becomes thick and cement-like, diminishing the amount of bile provided by the gallbladder for digestion of fats. The less bile flows, the more the gallbladder backs up and becomes irritated.
On an energetic level, this also affects the flow of chi in the wood element. Heat can build up in the liver and create night sweats, unexplained fevers and hot flashes, inflammatory conditions and strange rashes. In Chinese medicine those with gallbladder disturbances are called “the angry person”. Liver and gallbladder problems energetically create anger and resentment, and in turn those emotions further damage both the meridian pair and the physical organs.
Bile is an emulsifier, and absolutely necessary for digestion. If you have already had your gallbladder removed or if it is not up to par, supplementation with an alternative such as limonene or lecithin is a must in order to maintain healthy immune, brain, nerve, and other functions. If bile is not supplied on demand by your gallbladder to your small intestine every time you eat fat and fat soluble vitamins, the process fails and you will not absorb those vital nutrients. Your nerves, hair, skin, and nails need healthy fats to repair and stay healthy. Your immune system cannot thrive without healthy fats and fat soluble vitamins. You will age prematurely and your immune system will go downhill rapidly. All is not lost if the gallbladder is removed, but lifelong supplementation will be a necessity to stay in good health.
In order to stop the never ending cycle, optimizing digestion is the first priority. Calming the gallbladder with magnesium, and herbs such as turmeric and milk thistle will help reduce inflammation and pain. Meditation and working on stress and anger reduction through various methods are also an important part of the healing process. Remember, it is not solely the physical organ that we are dealing with; restoring the flow of Chi in the wood element meridian pair is as important, if not more so than addressing the physical gallbladder.
Once the gallbladder returns to an uninflamed state, and digestive habits have been remedied, we can begin cleaning the liver and flushing the gallbladder. There are many protocols, most very much alike with only slight differences; but I recommend that no one undertake this feat without the close care of a chiropractic or naturopathic physician. Flushing the gallbladder can be dangerous unless it is done under the watchful eye of a professional.
If neck, shoulder and knee pain have been plaguing you for years, or if you suffer bouts of extreme body heat, indigestion, or you seem to just be grouchy for no reason, your gallbladder may be at the root of your symptoms. Applied Kinesiology and biocommunication can identify weaknesses in the organs and energetic systems while symptoms are still. Listening to your body’s whispers of dis-ease are so much easier to resolve than waiting until your symptoms become the only thing you can think about. It’s never too late to take good care of an angry gallbladder. Even if the physical organ has already been removed, you can never lose the meridian. With some changes and serious work, you can make even the grouchiest gallbladder happy again!