Arm raises are one of the most essential elements of a qigong practice, and they are known to detoxify and energize the entire body. They are great because they’re easy and don’t require a lot of time. According to Chinese medicine, the liver filters our blood between the hours of 1 AM and 3 AM. To prevent stagnant blood in the liver, the best time to exercise is early morning.
1. Start this exercise in a standing position with the feet shoulder-width apart, arms resting along your body.
2. On an inhale, raise your arms to about shoulder level, palms facing up. You can either keep your hands at shoulder width, or spread them wide like the woman on the picture.
3. On an exhale, lower the arms completely. This is 1 rep.
Start with as many raises as you can and gradually build up to about 50 repetitions.
Another way of removing stagnant blood from your liver, as well as improving blood circulation is through a massage, often referred to as a liver move. To understand where to massage, you need to learn to locate your liver. The picture above shows the best position for a liver massage (laying on the right side, knees bent and head slightly tilted forward), as well as the approximate location of the liver.
Generally speaking, the liver sits right below the diaphragm (under your ribs), stretching from the upper right side to the upper left side of your abdomen. An inflamed liver may also be somewhat larger and protrude below the ribs. To massage your liver, you need to learn the types of moves you can use, as it is not a muscle and should be handled differently.
Here are the 2 main types of movements:
This simple spinal twist is very beginner-friendly and you will feel an increased mobility after just a few days of repetition. Twists are very beneficial to all the internal organs, as they help improve the circulation in the abdominal organs.
1. Sit upright with either the legs crossed like on the picture, or any comfortable seating position (yes, even sitting up on a chair). Lay your palms on your knees.
2. To start twisting to the left, put your left arm behind you and your right hand on the left knee (if it doesn’t reach it, no worries, just grab the left shin or ankle instead). Now start turning your upper body to the left and hold for 30 seconds. Then return to the initial position.
3. Repeat the same on the other side: twist right with your left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you. Note that each side may feel different, that’s normal.
Do this twist around 5 times on each side.
Strong abdominal muscles are beneficial not only for good looks, but also for your inner organs. This is because you actually have a lot of muscles inside your abdomen that also get stronger with regular ab workouts. This, too, will boost the circulation in the liver.
Keep in mind that any ab exercise will do, and you don’t have to do many repetitions to achieve good results. Here is the exercise we suggest:
1. Lay down on a soft, but stable and firm surface, like a yoga mat, rug or towel. Bend your left knee slightly and put the right foot on top of the left knee.
2. Bend your arms and interlace your fingers behind your neck. Alternatively, bend only the left arm and touch your left ear with your palm.
3. Now slowly lift your upper body using your abdominal muscles. Try to reach the right knee with your left elbow and hold for 2 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position.
4. Relax your stomach completely and rest for 5 seconds, breathing deeply. Then repeat on the other side.
Start with as many repetitions as you can and build up the repetitions slowly, just make sure you do the same amount of reps on each side.
This exercise comes from yoga, where it is known as the plow pose, and it is usually one of the final poses in most beginner-intermediate yoga sequences. It is so essential because it is believed to massage and strengthen the internal organs. It may look a little bit intimidating at first, but it is much simpler to do than you might think.
1. Lie down on your back with your legs straight and arms along the body and palms facing down.
2. Slowly start raising your legs up and then overhead. It is preferable to keep your legs straight, but a slight bend in the knees is also acceptable. Ideally, your fingertips will touch the floor, but you can also stack up a pile of pillows or a put a chair in the approximate leg-landing location to provide support for your feet.
3. You should be able to hold this position for a minute or so before slowly returning to the initial position. If that is difficult, no worries, with time, you will build up to a minute.
This is a slightly deeper twist than the previous one we mentioned, and it has the added benefit of putting a little pressure on the liver, which can help drain and detoxify the organ even better.
1. Sit upright with your legs crossed. Now raise and bend your right leg and set your right foot past your left knee.
You will immediately feel how your knee presses slightly on your liver.
2. Now twist your upper body to the right until your left elbow passes the right knee and hold for 30 seconds. You can either keep your arms straight, touching the earth, or in a prayer position like the woman on the picture.
3. Slowly return your upper body back to the center and only then move the right leg back into the initial position. Repeat the same on the other side.
The recommended quantity or repetitions is 5 times on each side.