Spleen, Digestion & Immunological Systems
The Spleen is a very important organ classification involved in the hormonal cycle. The Western concept of the spleen encompasses its role in the production and destruction of blood and immune cells. In TCM, however, the Spleen system (which includes the pancreas) governs most energetic processes in the body. Since the Spleen takes nutrients and Qi and uses them to produce the Blood, it must be functioning optimally for a healthy menstrual cycle. The Spleen is responsible not only for overall energy production but also for certain types of hormones such as thyroid hormone, aspects of progesterone production, as well as aspects of the circulatory and immunologic systems. Spleen system pathology is often held liable in thyroid abnormalities, autoimmune processes, allergies, digestive disturbances, and bleeding disorders. Menstrual difficulties can also be caused by Spleen imbalance.
The Spleen is in charge of transforming the food we eat into Qi, Blood, and other forms of usable
energy, and transporting nutrients
to all the other organs. Spleen energy manifests in the gastrointestinal
system and also is markedly affected by what we eat. Excessive sugar
and refined carbohydrates damage the Spleen, and damp, greasy foods
clog up its works. When our Spleen system is strong, we have a lot of
physical energy; when it's weak, we feel tired and depleted as well.
Because the Spleen is linked with digestion and elimination, the Spleen system is implicated when menstruation is accompanied by loose stools. The Spleen has a causative effect in many presentations of luteal phase defect where spotting precedes menstruation as well.
The emotion that is associated with the Spleen system is worry. Excessive use of the mind in thinking, studying, concentrating and memorizing over a long period of time tends to weaken the Spleen. This also includes excessive pensiveness and constant "brooding". The Chinese believe "over-thinking" or "ruminating" can inhibit the optimal functioning of the energetic processes of the Spleen. This explains why excessive worry causes digestive disturbances like stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome-we have so much information that clogs up our minds yet all too often we think far more than we act, producing obstruction or a backup of energy. The inability to make decisions then causes disharmony between the Spleen (thinking), the Heart (spirit) and the Kidneys (will). Exercise is beneficial to the proper functioning of the Spleen energies.
PERSONAL DYNAMIC OF THE EARTH TYPE - the caring nurturer
DISTORTED ARCHETYPE – stuck
We deplete our spleen energies by taking care of the external world at the expense of our own internal environment. We forget our boundaries; we live for others; and we become our own worst enemies. Our own innate protective system, our internal immune system, turns against ourselves. Even our cells forget who is friend and who is foe. Our immune system can turn against our own reproductive tissue, making us react negatively to our own hormones in some cases, killing implanting embryos in others.
STRATEGIES FOR RESOLUTION - toward mobilization
Spleen Qi tonics improve quality /quantity of available energy in the body.
Beef, cherries, chicken, coconut, date, eel, fig, flax seed, ginseng, goose, grape, ham, Herring, job’s tears barley (coix), lentil, licorice, mackerel, microalgae, molasses, oats, octopus, potato, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, rabbit, rice, royal jelly, sweet potato, shitake mushroom, squash, sturgeon, tofu, yam.
Avoid cold foods, dairy products, refined carbohydrates, sugar, sweeteners.