“In Chinese Medicine we differentiate all disorders according to the energetics of the internal organs”
Heart -Small Intestine – Fire Element
When we think of Heart-Fire we imagine: warm, light radiance, dynamic, moving, excitement about life.
When the fire element is strong, we feel unconditional love, and radiate warmth to others.
The Chinese name for the spiritual aspect of the heart is Shen.
The Shen is in control of: the mental and emotional activity, intelligence, memory, consciousness, communication between our conscious and subconscious mind, and maintaining a deep restful sleep
When the Shen is imbalanced: – in the daytime we feel hyperactive At night – we have a hard time relaxing and falling asleep.
The Shen governs the complexion, tongue, perspiration , blood vessels
The Shen will have problems when there are lack of Qi and blood support from the spleen and liver, disturbances cause by other organs overacting, and disturbances case by heat.
Color – Red -the color of heat, passion. The complexion will show how balanced the Shen is. If it is too red then too much heat and fire. If it is too pale then not enough fire.
Season -Summer -The most yang time of year. The season of the heart and we have more energy and yang is at its peak A strong heart will be able to adapt quicker to hear and humidity.
Control: Heart is in control of blood circulation. The drive of the blood circulation is heart Qi.
If heart Qi is weak, the blood stagnation occurs, and symptoms such as pain, blood clot, stroke, and heart attack can occur.
The heart controls the blood vessels.The heart Qi supports the contraction and expansion of the blood vessels.
The heart governs speech and the ability uplift others with words of wisdom.
Emotions: The positive virtue of the heart is joy, love, compassion.
The negative emotions are impatience, hastiness, and in a severe form, hate.
Paired organ -Small Intestine, Pericardium
Internally there are channels that connect the heart and small intestine.
The small intestine’s main function is to separate the pure from impure from digested food and liquids. This separation will help with assimilation and the Spleen’s function of transformation of food and water into Qi.
The small intestine will also separate our thoughts so they are pure and filled with ideas and excitement rather than dull and boring.
The Pericardium is the heart protector, both physically and emotionally. It protects against heat and bacteria as well as the emotional bumps that come at us.
Time of day – Heart 1-3PM and Small Intestine 3-5PM
Flavor -bitter – Bitter foods will nourish the heart and small intestine. Ex. kale, collard greens, arugula, endive, coffee, bitter chocolate.
Sense organ – tongue. The tongue controls speech so speech impediments can be treated via the Fire element.
Fluid Secretion- sweat. Over sweating or not sweating enough shows an imbalance in fire.
Sound– Laughing. Too much or too little laughter and show an imbalance in Fire. Someone who always giggles or acts over hysterical, shows a fire imbalance. On the other extreme, someone has never laughs is showing a deficiency of fire.
Spleen – Stomach – earth Element
The Spleen’s essential function it the transformation and transportation of food and water into Qi (energy). The Chinese call this process “Yun Hua.” Yun -transportation Hua -Transformation.
The Spleen absorbs the pure nutritive Qi essence of food and water from the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. If the spleen doesn’t do its job in transforming, you will experience loose stools and fatigue. After transformation, the essence is transported to the lung, and the lung will continue this process. The spleen is a pivot, and so vital to this process. If it doesn’t do its job in transforming well, there will be Qi deficiency, fatigue, loose stools. and fatigue. If the spleen fails the ascending function to the lung, the whole body will be weakened.
The spleen has an uplifting function, both physically and emotionally. If the function is weak there will be a prolapse of organs, or veins etc. For example, hemorrhoids and varicose veins are caused by a spleen weakness.
Control: Proper digestion.
The spleen controls the muscles and flesh. A weakness in the spleen will cause muscle weakness and hard to maintain or loose weight.
Season – Indian Summer
Sound: Singing A very subtle singing sound will be produced when there is a spleen imbalance.
Sense Organ: The sense organ relating to the spleen is the mouth.
Luster: Lips Swelling of the lips are discoloring shows a spleen imbalance
Taste: The taste corresponding to the spleen is sweet. The spleen likes sweet, but too much will hurt the spleen
Body Fluid: saliva.
Emotion: The positive emotion corresponding to the spleen is having an open mind, and being humble.
The negative emotion is worry, over thinking, obsessing.
Paired Organ -Stomach
The Stomach separates pure and impure parts of food. It then sends the pure to the small intestine were it is further transformed. The pure part will be absorbed by the spleen and the impure part by the large intestine.
Kidney – Bladder – Water Element
The kidney is considered the pre-natal root of the body. If you think of the human body as a tree, the kidneys represent the root. If the root is strong, the branches and leaves will flourish.
The kidney’s yin aspect nourishes the yin (essence) of all the internal organs. It’s yang aspect keeps the circulation of Qi and blood in order to warm and nourish the body’s structure and organs.
In Chinese medicine it is said that he kidneys store the essence. Essence is considered the integrity of the cells and tissues of the entire body. It is a very concentrated material providing the backbone of all the organs and glands. Since we only come into this life with a certain amount of pre-natal essence, we need to conserve it by living a balanced life. You can think of it as our reserve fund.
The kidneys are in charge of growth, development, and reproduction.
The kidneys produce what the Chinese call “Tian Kui.’ Tian kui translates into gift from heaven. This material is produced by the kidney and is transformed into kidney essence. It is in charge of the reproductive organs (ovaries, testes, prostate, uterus), puberty, hormonal changes, and menstruation Tian kui is stored in the kidney and doesn’t mature until puberty.
Control: The kidney is in charge of bone development and strength. Any bone problems are treated by strengthening the kidneys. The kidneys govern the lower back, knees, and ankles.
The kidneys help the descending function of the lungs. If this function is impaired, you will be short of breath and possibly develop asthma or COPD.
Season: Winter – In the winter the energy moves inward and it is a good time for quite, reflection and meditation. In this way we can conserve our vital essence
Time of Day: 3-5PM Bladder 5-7PM Kidney
Fluid: The yin of the kidney governs all the fluids in the body.
Sense organ: Ears. How well we hear depends on the strength of the kidney. The ear canals are governed by the kidney as well as the fluid in the ear. A loss of equilibrium shows a sign of kidney-water element imbalance.
Luster “Hua” The kidney shows it’s luster “hua” in the head hair.
Emotions: Positive emotions: gentleness, quiet, peace and endurance, strong will. The kidneys like rest, quiet and a deep sound sleep.
Negative emotions: fear, anxiety.
Paired Organ: Bladder
The bladder is charge of eliminating fluid waste. It shares the kidney function of storing the essence. Any weakness in the bladder will effect the entire body. One will feel listless, with little endurance and drive.
Liver- Gallbladder – Wood Element
CONTROL: The liver is in charge of regulating and circulating the the Qi (energy) and blood in the entire body. When the Qi flows so does the blood, so when the liver is robust, there will be strong blood circulation. Since pain is caused by the blockage of Qi, many chronic pain problems can be traced back to the Liver. The Chinese call the function of guaranteeing the smooth flow of Qi – Shu Xie. The She Xie function keeps the body calm, stress free, pain free, relaxed, gentle, and happy. When the function is impaired, you will feel tight, agitated, angry, and depressed. When the Shu Xie function of the liver is strong, you can deal with stress and pressure more easily.
The liver regulates the digestive Qi, or what is called the middle jiao Qi. The liver guarantees the descending function of the stomach, and the spleens transformation process.
The liver is the reservoir of blood which is not in circulation. It regulates the quantity of blood in circulation (volume.) In Chinese medicine the livers blood function plays a role in maintaining normal blood pressure. Liver blood is very nourishing especially to the eyes, nails, tendons, hair, and uterus, and skin.
The liver plays a role in the production of bile.
Season: Spring. Spring is a good season to do a liver cleanse and to eat lighter food
Time of Day: 11PM-1AM – Gallbladder 3AM-5AM Liver The Liver and Gallbladder are functioning at their best at this time.
Emotions: positive- kindness, planning and a vision of where you life is going.
negative- Anger, resentment, feeling stuck, and mood swings
Sound: Shouting. We the liver Qi is very stagnated we will shout or yell.
Sense organ: eyes The liver nourishes the eyes. Many eye imbalances relate to an imbalance in the liver.
Luster – Hua: The Liver shows it’s Hua in the nails. Broken nails, ridging, etc. shows a Live imbalance.
Body fluid -tears. Too much or too little moisture in the eye relates to an imbalance with the liver.
Paired Organ: Gallbladder. The gallbladder helps us digest fats by secreting bile.
Lung – Large Intestine – Metal Element
In the east breathing exercises are used to experience mental clarity, peace, and physical endurance. The Taoist calls this Qi gong and in the Indian system it is called prana breathing.
In Chinese medicine the lungs are in charge of the whole body’s Qi. All of the other organs via the acupuncture meridians converge in the chest and and exchange energy with the Lung Qi. This energy is called ancestral Qi.
The lungs distribute Qi in there directions
a. Dispersing -part of the ascending function -guarantees the wei Qi function
b. descending -guarantees the inhale function
c. Ascending -guarantees the exhale function.
The lung receives the transformed Qi from the Spleen and distributes the Qi to the entire body.
Control: The lungs govern the protective barrier and security which determines what is allowed into the body and what is expelled. This mechanism flows through the skin and is named Wei Qi. Wei Qi circulates in the skin and helps open an close the pores in order to protect from allergens, and viruses.
If this function is weak, we will be very susceptible to substances in the air, and viruses will not be expelled quickly and will go deeper into the lung. The wei qi helps open the pores so any virus contracted will be immediately sweated out. If this function is weak, we will be very susceptible to substances in the air, and viruses will not be expelled quickly and will go deeper into the lung.
The lungs are in charge of opening the water passages. The lungs have a close relationship with the bladder and help make sure that fluids in the body are distributed properly.
The skin has a close relationship with the lung. The skin is considered the third lung. The skin uses the wei Qi to keep it warm, moist and radiate.
Time of Day: Lungs – 3AM-5AM Large Intestine 5AM -7AM The Lungs and Large Intestine are functioning at their peak at these times.
Taste: Pungent, Spicy
Sense organ: The lung opens to the sinuses. If the lung Qi is weak, mucus will stagnate in the sinuses.
Luster: The lung shows it’s luster “hua” in the body hair.
Emotion: The positive emotion of the lungs is courage.
The negative emotion is sadness, grief.
Paired organ: Large Intestine