Five Major Organs
Modern quantum science as well as the ancient teachings of Chinese medicine say that everything is energy. Everything that makes up a human being, mind-body-spirit, correlates at an energetic level to something “external” in nature. We can use the vibrational frequency of nature and these principles of natural law to heal and balance our bodies and emotions.
This principle of interconnectedness also applies between different physical aspects of our bodies. For example, the Kidney organ correlates with the tissue of bone/teeth, the sensory taste of salt, the sensory organ of the ear, and the areas of the lower back, knees, and the heels/feet.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the Liver is the organ that is most affected by excess stress or emotions. Feel it, express it, but don’t hold it! Are you often irritable? Do things stress you out easily? Your Liver is telling you that its function is becoming out of balance.
Liver/Gallbladder According to Five Element Theory
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Liver is the organ responsible for the smooth flow of emotions as well as Qi and blood. It is the organ that is most affected by excess stress or emotions. The Liver’s partner organ is the Gallbladder.
- The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi and blood in your body. It controls the volume and smooth flow of blood in your vessels and also stores the blood.
- The eyes are the sensory organ related to the Liver. If you have any eye issues, including blurry vision, red or dry eyes, itchy eyes, it may be a sign deep down that your Liver is not functioning smoothly.
- The tendons are the tissue associated with the Liver. TCM says that strength comes from the tendons, not muscles. Be like the cat that is strong, agile, and flexible, not the cow, which has huge muscles but little real strength.
- The taste that corresponds to and supports the Liver is sour. If you crave sour foods, that may be your Liver communicating that it needs an extra boost, so be sure to include high-quality vinegar and sweet and sour recipes in your diet.
- Anger is the emotion associated with the Liver. If you are often irritable, get angry easily, have trouble unwinding from the day’s activities, have trouble reasoning or going with the flow and letting things go, you are experiencing a Liver function problem. Experiencing these emotions chronically or excessively can seriously unbalance the function of your Liver.
You can use these basic guidelines to begin to understand what organs may be asking for support. In the case of the Liver, if you constantly crave sour foods, or are under a great deal of stress and feel angered easily, then your Liver function needs support. Use these ‘signs” to re-balance yourself.
Simple Tips for Everyday Liver Health.
- Stay calm, especially during the spring. Don’t get caught up in spring’s intense new energies! Take things easy and go slow; take a nice long walk in the park or do other gentle exercises to relax your mind, body, and spirit. Let go of any stressful situations that you can, and if that’s not possible, use some of the stress-relieving tips below.
- Using a hairbrush with rounded bristles, hit your legs up and down the insides of your thighs and calves, starting at the ankles, for about five minutes. This gently stimulates your Liver meridian, allowing your qi to flow more freely and relaxing your Liver.
- Avoid alcohol! Because the Liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol, drinking in moderation can go a long way towards preserving your Liver’s energy and giving it a break.
- Engage in gentle exercise, such as swimming or walking, instead of hard and fast exercises which overwork or overstretch the tendons, causing them to eventually lose their flexibility, impacting the Liver function of being “flexible.”
Acupressure for Liver Health
Rub the acupressure point called “Taichong” (Liver 3) which stimulates a key point on the Liver channel. It may be sore, but this means you’re hitting all the right spots! You are unblocking your Liver Qi.
Try to rub this area every day. It’s located on top of your foot where the big toe bone meets the second toe bone (about an inch back from the skin between these toes). Using your thumb, press and massage this spot on both feet (the meridians are on both sides of your body). You can also rub with your thumb moving forward along the inside of the big toe.
True cardiovascular health is not just about physical fitness, it’s about deep contentment with one’s life and destiny. Happiness and love are often associated with the Heart representing a state of peacefulness. Stress or lack of self-expression can directly impact this organ’s function.
Heart/Small Intestine Health
The Heart, according to Chinese medicine, is the king of all organs. This means that all the other organs will sacrifice for the Heart. In other words, they will always give their energy to help the Heart maintain its balance. The Hearts partner is the Small Intestine.
The Stomach is the “child” of the Heart. If the Stomach is functioning well then the mother, the Heart is happy or less impacted. In this simple analogy we understand that Stomach energy must be in balance for Heart energy to be balanced.
The Five Element chart also shows us that the Liver is the “mother” of the Heart. When a person is under continual stress, Liver energy becomes compromised because one of its energetic functions is to smooth and regulate emotions. So when chronic stress or excessive emotion is experienced, the Liver cannot offer proper support to the Heart.
Because of these important relationships as described by Five Element Theory, if you want to really take care of your cardiovascular health, it’s crucial to take care of your digestive organs, the Liver and the Stomach!
How to Read Your Body from the Five Element Perspective
- Perspiration is the “fluid” of the Heart: Perspiration comes from body fluid, and the Heart controls bodily fluids. If you find you are perspiring excessively, it can signal a Qi or energy deficiency of the Heart. On the other hand, if you engage in activities that make you to sweat too much, this can cause a Qi deficiency of the Heart.
- The tongue is the sense organ related to the Heart: The condition of the Heart can be seen by observing the tongue. The tongue will be a healthy red color when this organ is in balance. If there is insufficient blood in the Heart, the tongue may appear pale. If there is blood stagnation, the tongue will reflect this with a dark purple color. Cracks or lines down the center of the tongue also indicate a potential Heart function issue.
- The blood vessels are considered the “tissue” of the Heart: Because the face has many blood vessels, the complexion reveals the state of the Heart. Like the tongue, a pale complexion can indicate insufficient blood, and an overly red face can signal excessive heat.
- Bitter is the taste associated with the Heart: If you find yourself craving bitter foods your Heart may be asking for support. Foods beneficial for the Heart are watermelon, plum tomatoes, broccoli and broccoli rabe.
Use these basic guidelines to listen to the body. In the case of the Heart, if you constantly crave bitter foods, or have difficulty sleeping it may be a sign that your Heart function needs support. Use these “signs” to re-balance yourself.
Simple Tips for Everyday Hearth Health
- Smile: Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Do this multiple times until you feel a true smile emerging. Can you feel the difference between a pretend smile and and heartfelt one? Feel gratitude for yourself. Smiling stimulates the Heart and brings a sense of internal peace.
- Place your hands, one on top of the other over your chest area. Make a connection with your heart. Feel it beating. Make small circular motions.
- Before going to bed, allow your mind to wander. Begin to let all the business of the day drop out of your mind. Replace it instead with an image that is peaceful to you. With the palms of your hands placed gently over your heart, and a slight smile on your face, use this image to help you drift into a peaceful sleep.
- Go for a slow but steady walk. Place both hands behind you as you walk so your hands meet at your lower back.
Emergency First Aid for the Heart
If you experience any difficulty that may be associated with the heart, while waiting for help to arrive, try this simple tip, which provides stimulation to support your heart function. Open and close both hands, making sure your fingers curl down to touch the palms of your hands. Your middle fingers are the most important fingers to make a connection with the palms. Continue to open and close your hand for at least five minutes or as long as possible.
Chronic stress, worry, and anxiety can damage Stomach function very quickly. Without the proper functioning of the Stomach and its partner organ the Spleen, you can easily begin to suffer from poor digestive health and low metabolism function.
What does it really mean to take care of your Stomach health?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Stomach (and its partner the Spleen) is most affected by chronic worry, anxiety, or overthinking. Remember, the Stomach is responsible not only for digesting food and drink, but also for digesting your emotions and thoughts, keeping what nurtures your spirit and letting go of what doesn’t!
The Stomach’s element is Earth. Just as Mother Earth’s job is to nurture growth and all living creatures, Stomach Qi is what “feeds” all the organs enough power to perform their jobs.
- The mouth is the sensory organ related to the Stomach. If you have any mouth issues, such as bleeding gums or bad breath, it may be a sign that your Stomach function is compromised.
- The muscles are the tissue associated with the Stomach. If your muscles are weak and underdeveloped, or if they cramp or tire easily, you may have a Stomach or Spleen dysfunction.
- The taste that corresponds to and supports the Stomach is sweet, according to Five Element theory. If you crave sweets, perhaps your Stomach needs support! The taste of sweet naturally supports the healthy function of your Stomach. Like a baby, the Stomach loves warm and hates cold. Reducing intake of cold drinks will support healthy Stomach function.
- Worry, anxiety, and overthinking are the emotions associated with the Stomach. If you constantly worry or over-think things (especially negative thoughts!), get anxious easily, you may have a Stomach imbalance or function disorder! Experiencing any emotions chronically or excessively can damage Stomach and digestive health, as the digestive system processes not just the food you eat, but the thoughts and emotions that you internalize.
Foods to Support Stomach Health
Many foods have an essence that supports the Stomach, especially yellow or orange foods, foods harvested in the late summer or root vegetables that grow directly in the ground. A TCM practitioner might regularly prescribe these foods for patients when trying to build strong Stomach function.
Simple Tips for Everyday Stomach Health
Some ways to take care of your Stomach:
- Don’t worry, be happy! Worry, anxiety, and overthinking are the emotions that are associated with the Stomach and Spleen, and these emotions in excess have an especial impact on your digestive health.
- Eat mostly cooked or warm foods and beverages – your Stomach is warmth loving by nature, so eating cold or raw foods (especially nuts and vegetables) and cold drinks can damage Stomach functioning over time. Raw fruit is okay as the essence of fruit is very light.
- Have your dinner by 6 or 7pm at the latest – this gives your Stomach a chance to rest along with all your other organs! If you eat a lot or heavy foods at night, then you are making your Stomach work overtime when it should be resting.
Acupressure for Stomach Health
The zhongwan is the entire area from under your breastbone to above your navel. Massaging this area can help strengthen your digestive system and relieve symptoms such as nausea and lack of appetite.
Massage this area gently by placing one hand on top of the other and slowly making five circles. five more circles. Reverse direction and make five more circles. Repeat this routine for about five minutes.
Too much sadness and grieving can harm the Lung and its partner, the Large Intestine. “Letting things go” is a healthy way to stimulate your Lung’s function and get rid of physical and emotional baggage.
Lung/Large Intestine Health
What is the importance of the Lung to one’s health?
The Lung’s major functions include maintaining healthy immune defenses against pathogens, as well as circulating Qi and fluids throughout the body.
Emotionally and physically, the Lung (along with its organ partner, the Large Intestine), is responsible for helping you “let go” of whatever you don’t need, from life experiences to emotions to actual metabolic by-products.
- Autumn is the season associated with the Lung and its partner, the Large Intestine. If you tend to catch colds or have allergies in the Fall, it’s important to take care of these organs!
- The nose is the sensory organ related to the Lung. Runny nose, sneezing, congested sinuses, loss of smell, are all symptoms of compromised Lung function.
- The skin is the tissue associated with the Lung. If you want to have healthy, clear, wrinkle-free skin, it’s important to take care of the Lung and the Large Intestine!
- The taste that corresponds to and supports the Lung is spicy, according to Five Element theory.
- Sadness and grief are the emotions associated with the Lung and Large Intestine. If you cry easily or have trouble processing grief and loss, you may have an imbalance in your Lung energy.
Foods to Support Lung Health
Many foods have an essence that supports the Lung and its partner, the Large Intestine, especially spicy, white foods. An acupuncturist might regularly prescribe these foods for patients when trying to build strong Lung function.
Simple Tips for Everyday Lung Health
Some ways to take care of your Lung:
- Let go of things you no longer need and give yourself breathing room! Stimulate your Lung function by throwing out those twenty-year old clothes or notebooks from fifth grade.
- Bundle up in windy and cold weather, especially your chest and neck. Because part of the Lung’s job is to protect you from pathogens, you can save Lung energy by covering up your skin.
Qigong for Lung Health
Practice the most powerful Qigong movement from our popular wellness and weight loss program, “The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth”.
Standing with feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, raise your arms to chest level, and make two fists. Point your thumbs toward each other about six inches in front of you. Relax your arms and shoulders, but keep your hands at this height. Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes, and imagine you are a dragon standing between Heaven and Earth.Hold this posture as long as you can. This not only strengthens Lung energy but also increases your overall energy levels in your body, giving you extra Qi for healing and living!
The Kidney is the “reserve generator” of energy in the body, supplying extra Qi to all the organs when necessary. Its corresponding emotion of fear can be a red flag that these powerhouses of the body are themselves low on Qi and working too hard.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Kidney is the powerhouse of the body, supplying reserve energy to any organ running low on Qi. Its partner organ is the Bladder.
The season associated with the Kidney is the Winter so it’s especially important to slow down and conserve energy by getting more rest!
The Kidney stores reserve energy called “pre-natal Qi” inherited from your parents. When another organ is low on energy, the Kidney sends it an extra Qi boost from this inheritance.
The ears are the sensory organs related to the Kidney. Any ear problems, such as deafness, tinnitus, or ear infections are a signal from your body that the Kidney’s energy needs extra support.
The bone is the tissue associated with the Kidney. If the Kidney’s energy is low, you may have symptoms such as osteoporosis, dental issues, or developmental issues.
The taste that corresponds to and supports the Kidney is salt, according to the Five Element theory. Craving salt? Listen to your Kidney and have a salty snack!
Fear is the emotion associated with the Kidney. If you often have severe panic attacks, anxiety, and fear, your body may be trying to tell you that Kidney energy is running low or is imbalanced.
Foods to Support Kidney Health
Many foods have an essence that resonates with the Kidney. You may crave seafood, beans or bone soup. These are all foods that build strong Kidney function. Listen to the body, and eat what you are in the “mood” for.
Simple Tips for Everyday Kidney Health
Some ways to support your Kidney’s energy:
Stomp your feet, slowly and with flat feet, for about 5 minutes a day. This stimulates your Kidney’s energy as the feet are associated with the Kidney and Bladder meridians, which run through the heel and to the sole of the foot.
Rub your ears for several minutes a day. This simple massage strengthens Kidney function, as the ears are connected energetically to the Kidney organ and meridian.
Stop energy drains! Conserve your energy by sleeping before midnight, resting when you’re tired, and giving yourself permission to take a break and de-stress.
Acupressure for Kidney Health
Rub the acupressure point called “Yongquan” or “Gushing Spring” (Kidney 1) which stimulates a key point on the Kidney channel. It may be sore, but this means you’re hitting the right spot to stimulate your body’s energy foundation and relieve symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, tinnitus, hypertension, insomnia, anxiety, and headaches.
The yongquan is located at the exact center of the bottom of each foot. Starting with your left foot, massage this point as deeply as comfortable using your thumb or even a tennis ball—anything you have on hand.
Source: TCM World