The Spleen: A Holistic Guide to the Spleen and Deficiency. (What IS the spleen, anyway?!)

20130211-001710.jpgSpleen: Digestion and Intellect
The spleen is a fist-sized organ located under the diaphragm in the upper-left section of the abdominal cavity.
The spleen is responsible for:
•removal of old red blood cells
•production and storage of white blood cells (lymphocytes) which will cleanse bacteria from the blood
•providing a flood of emergency immune cells to areas of the body traumatized by injury for important tissue healing
•other immune responses throughout our body

Super cute spleen brooch by YourOrganGrinder

The spleen is functionally equivalent to a large lymph node with a focus on cleansing our blood and aiding immune system.
The spleen also helps with:
Thinking, studying, focusing, worrying.
Too much thinking=too much spleen energy.

Spleen qi suffers if you worry, oversympathize with others, study excessively or eat junk food.
Print of a human spleen by AntiquePrintsOnly on Etsy

Deficiency or imbalance in the spleen can be caused by:
Overwork, lack of exercise, obsessive thinking.

This affects the quality of the blood, and lack of circulation.
Symptoms are: lack of appetite, indigestion, abdominal fullness, bloating, and inappropriate bleeding or bruising

Expressed first as dry, cracked lips and zits in mouth area near corners.

Can lead to: iron deficiency. (Expressed as cracks on corners of your mouth.)
Low blood pressure, scanty periods, pale face and lips, cold hands and feet, lack of energy, pale nail beds, craving sweets.
A cute, squishy spleen by

If the spleen doesn’t function well, excessive body fluid will collect and turn into fat.
Craving chocolate after studying? Your spleen needs more fuel! (But only eat a square or two of dark chocolate. Too much sugar is damaging.)

The spleen's lesson: everything in balance.

Too much sugar damages the spleen but a little sugar can actually help.
The reason your body always has room for dessert is that a small amount of sugar actually helps with digestion!
Foods which are easy to digest (especially in the winter to preserve your immune system)
Soup and stew.
Yellow-orange foods like Squash,Carrots, Onions, Bananas, Mandarin oranges
Sweet complex carbohydrates like rice pudding or pumpkin soup
Collards and other leafy greens, peas, asparagus, green peppers, green beans
Root vegetables like parsnips and yams
Light grains, especially white rice

*thoroughly chewing; simple combinations of a few ingredients, smaller meals more often, regular meal times
garlic, pepper, fresh ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel
Setting aside time on weekends to prepare hearty soups, stocks and stews for the coming week is a way of actively participating in the spleen strengthening process, and has mental benefits that also assist the spleen.
Ginger (warms and strengthens spleen)
Drink water with lemon

Avoid the following as they are hard on the spleen (can cause sluggishness, bloating, and constipation):
Raw foods
Excessive cold foods and drinks (especially in winter)
Any overeating
Excessive fluids with meals
Missing meals
Eating while working
Too many sweet foods and concentrated sweeteners
Brown rice
Antibiotics and high dose vitamin C
Too much meat
Exercise inner thighs and trunk between 9 am and 11 am.
Earth element and the color yellow.

Stand barefoot outside in the sunshine in mountain pose. Breathe deeply–envision yellow light moving up your legs and radiating out of your belly. (5-10 min)
Take regular breaks from sitting at a desk and concentrating. Move around for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours.
Abdominal massage. Massage in a clockwise direction and whisper “hu” when you exhale. 10-20 times. Smile as you massage.

Add a few drops of lemon oil to a base of almond, olive, or jojoba oil and stroke up and down arms lightly to cleanse lymph.

Work on trusting.

Joy Boardman

Massage Therapist and Collage Art Therapist

Planet Joy: Otherworldly Massages for Women, Planet-Friendly Collages for Everyone

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