Q: Holiday meals can be heavy. What can I do to help?
Our liver produces bile to help with fat digestion. This bile can be released on command and can also be stored in the gall bladder. Bile in the gall bladder is concentrated and will also be released upon ingesting a fatty meal. Heavy consumption in fat can overwork the liver and gall bladder which could lead to indigestion, right upper abdominal discomfort and some musculoskeletal complaints, including right shoulder blade pain.
A great first step in managing this phenomenon is to consciously eat less fat. Talking with your naturopath to decide on supplements to aid in fat digestion could be helpful too. Another great idea could be to receive some bodywork. Many of the musculoskeletal complaints are often not associated with liver/gall bladder dysfunction and thus overlooked by conventional medicine. A combination of CranioSacral, Visceral Manipulation and Lymph Drainage therapies can help to decongest and ease the liver and gall bladder. This overall aids in digestion, improved organ function and lessening the musculoskeletal pain. Finally, an approach you can do at home would include diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing deeply with your belly will stretch your diaphragm and gently “massage” your internal organs. Your liver and gall bladder are found under the diaphragm on the right side. With each deep inspiration, the diaphragm dips down to your toes and reverses with your expiration. This motion massages, mobilizes, decongests and drains the organs. While resting in bed, take a deep breath that will over exaggerate a round full belly. Hold the breath for 2 seconds and release the breath while imagining that you are pressing your navel back to your spine. Hold the release for 2 seconds and repeat. Repeat this process five times twice a day. This technique is best done in limited repetitions and reclining due to the possibility of feeling light headed. This will pass with regular practice.
I hope you enjoy your holidays! May they be filled with gratitude, joy and great health!!