The taste connected with spleen and stomach energies is sweet. Imbalance in these energies can lead to a craving and
excessive consumption of sweet-tasting food (the 'cookie monster syndrome'!).
The function of the spleen/pancreas organ is to transform and transport nutrition it receives. The essence extracted
from food is then sent upwards to the lungs from where it can be circulated throughout the body, particularly to the
muscles and tendons. The amount of muscle volume a person has is related to the strength of this function. Imbalance
will show when the stomach becomes distended ('beer belly') or when the body looks emaciated.
Food essence received by the lungs is transported to the heart which makes blood from it. Imbalance in the spleen's
function can cause: dizziness; scanty/irregular menstruation; anaemia; insomnia; depression; blood in the stools, sputum
or urine; painful urination; broken capillaries; nose bleeds; varicose veins and excessive or prolonged menstruation.
Another important aspect of spleen energy is that it maintains the position of your body organs. Imbalance can cause the
uterus, bladder, stomach or other organs to move downwards and can lead also to haemorrhoids. It will also cause the
cheeks, jaw and breasts to sag. An irregular menstrual cycle and tenderness of the breasts also indicate imbalance of
the spleen energy.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the most important organs that regulate Blood and menstruation are the Liver, Spleen, and Kidneys; and the key Fundamental Substances are Chi and Blood. The Liver "stores the Blood," and is responsible for maintaining a smooth and even flow of Blood, Chi, and emotions through the body. Emotions such as anger, irritation, resentment, and anxiety can lead to stagnation of Liver Chi, which in turn can lead to Blood Stasis (especially in the lower body). A main function of the Spleen is to produce Chi and Blood. If the Spleen is weak, there will eventually be a deficiency of Chi and/or Blood, so there will not be enough blood for normal menstruation, or enough Chi to regulate normal cycles. Also, if the Spleen is too weak, it can lead to a condition of Dampness in the body, and Phlegm-Damp can obstruct the uterus. The Kidneys are the organ responsible for conception, reproduction, and aging over time. Kidney-essence is the ultimate origin of menstrual blood.
During the ovulation phase there is an increase in fluids and there should be a transparent, egg-white-like vaginal secretion immediately before ovulation. This should last at least 3 days. An absence of such secretion indicates a Kidney deficiency even in the absence of any Kidney symptom. Cold in the Uterus prevents fertilization of the egg.
Phlegm : may be a visible, sticky substance such as mucus or metaphorical to indicate a disorder that causes a reduction in the flow of qi.
Central Qi : Qi of the Stomach and Spleen.
Phlegm : Phlegm arises from stagnation of the body fluids. It can cause symptoms such as mucous in the Lungs, nodules on joints, kidney or gall stones and/or lumps under the skin. If it blocks the Heart orifices it can cause some forms of mental illness.
Phlegm: In TCM, Phlegm is congealed Dampness which may accumulate throughout the body. When combined with other conditions (e.g. Blood Stagnation), Phlegm can easily turn into masses, lumps, or tumors. The pulse is generally slippery or tight; and the tongue will often have a greasy coating.
Liver: The Liver system includes the liver organ and has the function of storing Blood and ensuring the smooth flow of Qi. Closely related with the emotions, the Liver system is also in charge of tendons and ligaments.
Qi: Qi is vital energy as well as the basis of materials in the body. Qi both supplies energy and maintains activity. For example, Liver Qi supports and maintains the Liver system's function. Qi must continuously circulate. If the body's balance is disrupted and the flow of Qi disturbed, a number of conditions may arise including Qi Deficiency, Qi Stagnation, Descending Qi, Ascending Qi, and Rebellious Qi.
Ascending Qi: A type of Qi movement in which the Qi "goes up." In some organ systems (e.g. Kidney, Spleen) Qi should routinely ascend and in other organs systems (e.g. Lung, Stomach) Qi should routinely descend. For a variety of pathological reasons, Qi may ascend instead of descending or Qi can ascend more than it should. This is called Rebellious Qi. Common clinical findings include instances of Lung or Stomach Qi ascending or Liver Qi rising too much. When Stomach Qi rebels and ascends, symptoms can include hiccups, nausea, and vomiting. When Lung Qi rebels and ascends, symptoms can include coughing and asthma. When Liver Qi rises too much, symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, and vomiting blood.
Qi Deficiency: Qi that is Deficient or exhausted due to pre-natal or post-natal factors. Symptoms can include pale complexion, general weakness, shallow respiration, a low voice, and spontaneous sweating. The pulse is generally weak, soft, and thin; the tongue and nails are usually pale.
Qi Stagnation: When the smooth flow of Qi is restricted or disrupted, Qi Stagnation is the
result. Different kinds of Qi Stagnation produce different symptoms. For example, Qi Stagnation in the limbs will often cause pain and numbness in the body. Liver Qi Stagnation will often cause depression. Stomach Qi Stagnation will often cause stomach pain and bloating.
Breast distension: or pain in the breasts or nipples is again a sign of qi stagnation. In TCM we call this liver qi stagnation because the liver meridian is responsible for the free flow of qi in the body and it is largely involved in both the menstrual cycle and breast health. Also, breast pain that occurs regularly with the cycle can also signify excess prolactin (the lactation hormone) in the body. In the ovulation calendar, breast distension may be noted with a + when it occurs.
Clots: mean that the qi and blood in the uterus is not flowing smoothly and therefore clots are formed. In TCM this is called blood stagnation. The size of clots range from threadlike strings of coagulated blood to chunks 1-5 cm in length. Numerous clots are one of the symptoms looked for in endometriosis. Clots can be reported on an ovulation calendar with numbers indicating quantity from 1 to 3. Just a few clots would be a 1.
No tests exist yet for checking the "qi" of the liver! Stagnant or deficient liver "qi" can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, painful periods, PMS, cramps, uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts!
The liver and the spleen are our filtration systems. This system's main function is to keep poisons from entering the body, which includes environmental chemicals and food source chemicals. In order to have a healthy filtration system, we have to keep it free of products that clog it. When the filtration system is clogged, you may feel very tired. You may have rashes that come out through the skin because the body will use the skin as a filtration system when the liver and spleen are stuck. A clogged liver and/or spleen can create a feeling of exhaustion as well as a feeling of flu-like symptoms.
" You can now call me a Doctor ;) "