The analysis of disease in oriental medicine is based on a concept called ‘zangfu’. The zang are solid and the fu are hollow organs. The focus of Chinese medicine on the different organs reflects the increased reliance on concepts therein. Other major concepts are ‘yin yang’ and the ‘5 elements’.
The stomach is paired with the spleen. They are related to the element of earth. The emotions associated with these organs are those of stress, anxiety and worry. The stomach is responsible for controlling the ripening and rotting of food. After the process of fermentation, the refined essence resulting from food is extracted by the spleen. The stomach is also responsible for transporting different food essences. As such, strong energy is associated with a strong stomach qi. Where the stomach has a reduced qi to transport the food essences to the whole body, fatigue is experienced. Controlling the descending of the qi also lies within the functionality of the stomach. For the stomach to function accordingly, it is imperative to have the right amount of liquids.
The spleen is a zang organ and it is considered to be a yin organ that is associated with the stomach. The spleen is responsible for extracting and governing the transportation and absorption of food essences. So the purer the energy of your food, the easier it will be assimilated by the spleen. All food essences are subsequently distributed to the other zang organs. The limbs and muscles are governed by the spleen as well and the flesh often represents the state of the spleen. Furthermore, the spleen’s functionality is said to be stronger between 9 and 11am. Ideally, when the spleen functions accordingly, digestion is good. This, in turn, leads to strong muscles and efficient circulation and movement of the body. On the other hand, a dysfunctional spleen is characterized by malnutrition, excessive bleeding, diarrhea, and edema among other symptoms as well.
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