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The Spleen

I just started a class in 5-element QiGong. Tonight was the first night, you can read about this style of qi gong here and here, and see a video of it being performed here. There's a point where you get to when you're bringing in the element of Earth, and you stretch downnnnn to the earth, and I got this stabbing pain in my side. It happens from time to time (usually when I'm in the shower bending over to shave my legs! haha) and I just thought it was like a muscle cramp or something. But something the instructor said tonight caught my attention, she said the earth element brings in chi to benefit the stomach and the spleen. I could actually FEEL my spleen then, and I could see clearly in my mind's eye that it was this organ that has been causing occasional pain for me. I can see how QiGong is going to open a lot of areas in my body for observation, tonight it was definitely the spleen I needed to focus on - I am grateful for this opportunity!

To find out the spleen is possibly trying to get my attention isn't surprising to me. The spleen is actually closely linked to my star sign, and there's been a lot of other things I've read over the years that indicate that I may have a weakness energetically with spleen and need to take care of it - some of the things that have indicated this are a Tibetan Medicine Woman I visited and a friend of mine who is an iridologist.

So I thought I'd look up spleen in my various healing areas, and see what it has to say :D

ISSUES WITH THE SPLEEN

In Chinese Medicine the Spleen is considered a central/key figure in the body. The Spleen is responsible for providing the nourishment which supports all aspects of healthy functioning. It is an Organ of transformation and nourishment. It is energetically responsible for not only the processing and nourishment of physical food in our body, but the mental/thinking process of the mind and now we digest information and allow it to nourish us.

In the history of Chinese medicine whole schools have grown up around the idea that in the treatment of all illness we must first address the Spleen and its paired Organ, the Stomach. Without this central ability to transform food and experiences into nourishment, life lacks its central support. -
Source

Visit this link, for the entire article - it is quite long. Here are some of the key points I got out of it:

If the Spleen governs the power of thought at the mental level, at the emotional level it governs feelings of concern both for self and for others.... Strong Spleen energy lays the groundwork for a healthy emotional life in which needs are satisfied; we are able to overflow into life with generosity rather than grasp at life from a hungry place of lack.

Psychologically the Spleen also has to do with issues of nourishment and support. Spleen energy is mature when we are able to nourish ourselves from within, when we feel self-supporting and are not driven so much by need but by an overflowing of our own abundance.

Abundant Spleen energy will tend to generate a deep inner sense of well-being and a wonderful sense of ease and comfort in the body. We feel content, enjoy the pleasures of life, and have a deep relationship with our own sensuality. We feel abundant at all levels, equally able to give and receive generously.Digestion is relaxed and efficient, the body feels supported and toned, the mind is clear and able to concentrate well. We are grounded, as in touch with the earth as we are with our body, and we rest secure in the knowledge that we are safe and deservedly looked after by the divine Mother, Providence or whatever name we give to the provider of our needs.

When the Spleen is in disharmony there is usually a poor ability to digest food. This will often be mirrored by a decreased ability to receive emotional nourishment. Often weak concentration is linked with difficulty in sifting and sorting nutrients in the physical body. Sometimes, when deeply hungry for love, we turn instead to food to bury our pain. When feeling emotionally unnourished the body may contract and impede the flow of nourishment into the soft tissues; or the posture may collapse, especially the middle section of the torso and at the lumbar-sacral joint, giving up in both an emotional and physical sense.


According to Hanna Kroeger in her book New Dimensions in Healing Yourself  the spleen is the only organ in the body which has TWO auras. It is also the only organ to be in complete yin-yang balance. She states:

"An enlarged spleen is capable of raising the left rib cage visibly, there is very little pain connected with it but fullness and pressure. A sluggish, congested spleen can add to mental instability, depression, and stupor. A congested spleen makes a yellow complexion, brown discoloration over the eyes, cheeks and around the mouth. It may effect the heartbeat and often people sigh a lot."

Louise Hay in her book Heal Your Body states that spleen issues are related to obsessions and being obsessed about things.

HEALING THE SPLEEN

In Chinese Medicine touch is key. The spleen apparently loves touch. So receiving touch in any way possible is good - hugs, massage, touching yourself, all these are ways to strengthen the spleen. The spleen also likes to stretch. Therefore anything that involves stretching is good, as is apparently learning to play again by crawling, rolling around and lying on the floor, especially the ground. Daily structure is good for the spleen - giving yourself time to ground and relax, this is not surprising when we understand that in Chinese Medicine the spleen is ruled by the earth element. This may be as simple as creating a daily space to drink tea, meditate, sit with a book, write in a journal, massage the body, anything which nourishes. It may also mean eating regular meals or keeping regular sleeping and waking times. Routine and structure create a constant, safe and dependable place in our lives, an external support for the Spleen. Creating a comfortable and safe home gives structure and support to the spleen as well.

Nourishing the Spleen through food. (I found this VERY interesting!) The spleen likes the "comfort" feeling after eating. Being homely and generous gives the spleen a feel-good factor and generates the feeling of abundance and care.

In Chinese medicine the Spleen is said to be nourished by sweet food. This does not mean sugar but rather the deep sweet taste of grains or root vegetables as in rice pudding or pumpkin soup. Generally speaking the Spleen likes well-cooked food such as thick soups or stews which are easy on the digestion; it has more difficulty with raw and cold food. The weaker the Spleen, the more it benefits from well-cooked meals. (I found this very intriguing as I prefer to eat warm foods over raw foods, in spite of what people tell us is "good" for us by eating raw or half-cooked vegetables/foods all the time)

The Spleen also dislikes being flooded with too much fluid so it is helpful to drink only a little fluid with meals and have most fluid intake between meals. It is helpful to separate fruit and sweetened foods from the main meal, eating them instead as between-meal snacks. This assists the Spleen's function of sifting and sorting and helps reduce digestive fermentation.
(I was told a long time ago that we should not drink water with our meals - and one thing I noticed particularly with my time in America is that Western society tends to "wash" their food down instead of taking time to really chew and eat their food well. I am guilty of it and definitely need to be more stringent about the "no drink" at meals, or limited if having anything)

Chewing well helps the Spleen to digest, and warms chilled or raw food. We can also assist the Spleen by sitting in a relaxed way with an open and untwisted posture. Sitting slumped or twisted will compress the digestive organs and hinder digestion.

Hanna Kroeger in her book Healing with Herbs A-Z has many remedies for the spleen depending on what is "wrong" with it. Some things she recommends are:
* Eggplant - reduces enlarged spleen and increases red blood corpusles and hemoglobin. Very good for anemia.
* St John's Wort Tea and/or as a compress
* Having a chiropractor release tension in the tailbone and lumbar region
* Beets & yams
* Black tea with a little raw honey (for obstructed spleen)
* Dandelion tea, sorrel tea - 2 cups daily (for painful spleen)
* Tea made from the inner bark of the maple tea (soothing to the spleen)
* Pokeroot (make a poultice) Red beets (eat) for swollen spleen

Spleen & Liver Cleanser (going to try this I think, as much as I HATE grape juice!!!)
Combine 2 quarts concord grape juice, juice of 6 oranges, juice of 3 lemons. Cut the white of the lemon in small pieces. Boil in a little water for 10 mins. Strain. Add water to the drink. Then take distilled water and fill the mixture to 1 gallon. This is a 1-day supply of your food-drink intake. Just 2 days of this will cleanse organs.

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OTHER SPLEEN HEALING SUPPORTS


Hanna Kroeger in her book New Dimensions in Healing Yourself has the following procedure to have someone work on your spleen. I have done a variation of this in the past by myself and found it does help.

"To open the congested area of the spleen, the following method is extremely helpful: Stand at the head of your work table or slightly at the left side of your friend. Place the tips of the fingers of your right hand under the right armpit of your patron. Rest your left hand over his/her solar plexus. Hold your hands in this position until you feel heat or throbbing. Your left hand will feel it more distinctly. Watch the color coming into your friend's face. See the lines in the face smoothing out. Watch the dark discoloration go! On the second day the patron may expel a sour, putrid stool black or dark green in color."

Louise Hay recommends using the following affirmation for spleens
"I love and approve of myself. I trust the process of life to be there for me. I am safe. All is well."

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
manichad
Apr. 9th, 2011 06:38 am (UTC)
Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

Ellen Jansen
Oct. 23rd, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Thank you so much for gathering all this information. It is very helpful. Just like you mention in this story, I also recognise many of my 'weird personal preferences' in your list of possible spleen remedies.

I've come to realise lately that my spleen energy is probably severely depleted. I've suffered from 'chronic fatigue syndrome' and chronic skin infections for a long period (the most severe infections where located precisely at spleen acupuncture points on my right leg!), and I can relate very much to what you're writing.

How are you doing now? Did you notice improvements?
emeraldsedai
Jul. 18th, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
Hi! I got here by way of a Google search on "Louise Hay Spleen"--it's so rare to get a Livejournal post high up on a Google search that it surprised me.

Thank you for this fantastic compendium. It's just what I was looking for. Hope you don't mind if I add you to my flist. Your journal seems really interesting.
armoragnstwondr
Aug. 13th, 2013 04:08 am (UTC)
thank you from the bottom of my spleen (heh. heh.)
all this time, i thought i should be focusing only on my liver. yet, reading everything you have posted, it is now so obvious that the imbalance is with my spleen. i also find it interesting that in 5 element acupuncture, an imbalance in the spleen leads to excessive worrying and fear. there have been days where i don't even leave the house except to touch the grass with my feet for a short amount of time (being a taurus). anyway, thank you again!
AriellaMusic
Sep. 10th, 2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! Extremely helpful.
I am currently healing from mono right now with a painful, enlarged spleen. Reading your insightful research and thoughts really felt comforting. It helps to have some action steps to take, but also to confirm what I already intuited/felt to be true. It truly does apply to my life now, and in the past and future.

Thank you for blogging with such care... it means a lot to me.

Your friend Ariella in Minnesota, USA.
Cari Campbell
Dec. 21st, 2013 01:21 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Thank you so much for this wonderful post. Like another poster, I felt that I have Liver Qi stagnation but I do have a lot of weak spleen symptoms as well. I am going to check out the books you have referenced. Thanks again!
dedient
Jan. 3rd, 2014 12:26 pm (UTC)
:)
Должен признать, тот кто писал круто отжег!
kepyafk
Jan. 4th, 2014 01:21 pm (UTC)
:)
Ничего себе, афтар весело написал.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )