The Secretive Bile Duct
We often think that chronic bloating, gas and digestive pain are just side-effects of life. What we don’t realize is that these symptoms are just a few of the issues that can emerge when your bile duct is blocked or simply lazy. Just a few therapy sessions and some time flat on your back, and your digestion will be A+. The bile duct is a wonderful little device that opens to allow the free flow of both bile and digestive fluids from the pancreas to enter the small intestines and really get the most out of your food. The fact that the gall bladder, pancreas and the liver all rely on the action of this tiny structure means that it not only handles quite a lot, but any weakness or blockage can lead to much more serious complications than one would think.
The liver makes bile for two wonderful reasons. The first is to provide a fluid for the breakdown of fats in your food in the small intestines. The second purpose is to actually cleanse the liver itself and make sure that the liver does not become "fatty" itself. The ingredients in the bile can emulsify fat on contact and so are very important to keep the liver lean and mean. It also may play a vital role in your body composition, because if you don’t have sufficient bile, then there is quite a bit of fat that is simply hanging around in the intestines waiting for the next step in your digestion!
The gall bladder is simply a hollow organ shaped like a pickle, that concentrates the bile so it can have a thicker consistency, and then forcefully contracts to squeeze the bile through the bile duct and into the small intestines whenever fat is present in food that you have eaten. Chronic weak bile can also cause the gall bladder to contract too often because of the attempt to constantly break down excess fats present in the small intestines.
The pancreas also uses the bile duct to release digestive fluids into the small intestines to aid the digestive process, particularly carbohydrates. Chronic blockage of the bile duct can be a strong contributing factor to the development of pancreatitis.
So if you are experiencing bloating and gas more than an hour after eating, or pain under the right side of your ribs, then chances are good your bile duct is screaming! So pay attention, and help get it back on track.
First, Visceral Manipulation is a great therapy that can help to physically open the bile duct and release tense muscles and connective tissue surrounding the duct and its pathway so that bile can have a less restricted flow. Acupuncture has also been shown to release the tissue of this area and reduce the accumulation of heat that is often part of the problem in this delicate area.
Collinsonia Root, Spanish Black Radish and Greater Celandine are three things that we use naturally to help relax the spasms of the ducts and allow everything to flow more evenly. But one of the best things you can do for yourself, is to practice releasing your bile duct on a regular basis to ensure that there is no congestion of essential bile.
Bile Duct Release:
Lie on your back on a firm surface and stand your legs up as though you were going to do a sit-up. This will relax the muscles of the abdominal wall. You want to make sure that you are resting your head on your hands, or if you are performing this on yourself, then your head should be resting on a towel or pillow.
You want to begin with pressing a finger or thumb straight into your umbilicus or belly button, straight down towards the floor. The pressure you use is dictated by the level of pain involved. You want to maintain constant or increasing pressure until the pain subsides. This is easier if someone else does this, simply because it allows you to completely relax all your muscles instead of using your own muscles to do the release.
Once you have done this, then you will want to repeat this in a spot about one inch above the umbilicus and two inches to the right of midline. Here you will find another tender spot and you should repeat the same exercise. If there is no tenderness when you press into these two spots, then the bile duct is open and there is no need to perform the exercise at that time.
This should be done at least three times each week.