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Organs and Energy: A Deeper Dive, part 1

Updated: Apr 5, 2020


In my previous post, "Organs and Energy: An Overview", I discussed what the 12 Chinese Meridians are, how they are paired according to yin/yang, and have corresponding organs, color, element and emotion. Let's take a deeper dive, shall we?


 

THE HEART AND SMALL INTESTINE

The heart and small intestine meridians are paired through fire energy🔥- heat, passion, fervor, expansion...and the color red. 💋 They both function to provide the body with essential substance by way of circulation and absorption, respectively. These two meridians function most actively between 11 am and 1 pm. This is a time to get things done, a time to dive into work, passion projects or creative endeavors. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The heart ❤ (with yin energy, downward flowing) governs circulation, houses the spirit (or shen, in TCM) and has it's very own chakra (anahata). It is affected deeply by joy, which when balanced makes us, well...joyful🥰, but when out of balance leads to mania in excess and sadness when deficient😔. Vibrancy in this meridian is expressed through brightness in the eyes. It is also has some governance over blood, tongue, throat, sweat, facial complexion, adrenals, thyroid, prostate and pituitary gland based on where it runs.

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The small intestine(yang, upward flowing) governs reception and absorption of nutrients, separating the pure from the impure, and receives bile from the gall bladder so that the dangerously acidic contents of the stomach dont incinerate our insides upon gastric emptying! 🍎 It is housed in the solar plexus chakra, associated with personal power. Problems with the small intestine are associated with long term social or professional distress, and being overprotective of ones family. I have read that the term for "broken heart" translates into "broken intestines" in chinese, but I dont speak the language so I can not say for sure. (Fun fact: the small intestine produces about 90% of the body's serotonin, our happy hormone, so gut health is directly related to personal happiness🎭)

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With relation to circulation and absorption of substance, these meridians are associated with blood vessels and thus complexion of the skin and control of the tongue.


 

PERICARDIUM AND TRIPLE WARMER

The pericardium and triple war

mer (or sanjao) meridians are associated with the protective and transformative aspects of the element of fire 🔥and are perhaps the most abstract of the 12 energy lines in TCM. 💭

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The pericardium (yin), or "king's body guard" 🥋is a protective, double-walled sac of fluid around your heart 🧡filled with serous fluid that contains the root of our blood vessels. It absorbs shock (so your heart doesnt get whip lash), lubricates (so the heart doesn't stick to your lungs when it beats) and protects the heart from radical emotional fluctuation (think, emotional whiplash). 🌡It is most active from 7-9 pm, making this hour a good time to commune with family and friends. This meridian supplies energy to adrenal and sexual glands. Because of this, it is a link between joy from the heart and sexual energy. When this interplay is in balance, we find our relationships based more in divine love rather than sexual lust solely. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The triple warmer🥉(yang, upward flowing) isn't an organ, per say, and is not typically acknowledged in the western world. It links the thorax, abdomen and pelvis. This meridian controls the process intake🍊+transformation🔥+elimination💩, both in the physical sense of the movement of solids and fluids, and an energetic sense or producing and circulating qi (pure energy)♨️ and shen (spirit). It is most active from 9-11 pm, bringing the body back to its homeostatis as bedtime nears. Its proximity to the vagus nerve brings the triple warmer into association with our fight/flight/freeze response, regulating our major organs in times of stress.☄ It also lines up nicely with our sacral (svadhisthana), solar plexus (manipura) and heart (anahata) chakras.

 

STOMACH AND SPLEEN

I can exspleen! 😌

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The stomach and spleen meridian are paired in relation to the earth element, nourishing and foundational.🌏 They work in tandem in the first steps of digestion and thus the assimilation of qi (energy). The spleen, due to its placement in the body, is thought to blend solid energy from the stomach with the air energy from the lungs to form "pure human energy". 🧝‍♀️ These meridians are most active in the morning, from 7-11 am, making the morning the ideal time for our largest meal to begin the process of energy extraction.

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The stomach (yang) is a hollow, dispensable organ that churns our chewed bits with gastric acid to create a more digestible paste called chyme.🤤 Yum! Stomach issues are often related with social and professional problems👔, evoking emotions like worry and suspicion.🤨 When this meridian is balanced and is flowing properly, openness and caring are more likely expressed. In this way, the stomach's foundational function provides us with our basic support systems and feelings of security, bringing it in association with our root chakra (muladhara).📿

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The spleen (yin) is lesser known but equally as important. Nicknamed "the minister of the granary", the spleen supplies the stomach with digestive enzymes that help make all that chyme so...chymey. 👅This organ rests behind and slightly above the stomach, is about the size of your fist✊ and generally purple in color. Actually considered a lymphatic organ rather than a digestive organ, it plays a large role in fluid balance by both recycling old red blood cells and storing white blood cells. 💉Worry, overthinking and pensiveness are indications of a spleen meridian blockage.🤔 In TCM, it is thought to house the body's yi, or wisdom mind and intentions. The mouth👄 is the spleens external aperture and expresses temperance through moisture, color and plumpness of the lips. Pucker up! 💋💋


Thanks for reading,

-D

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