When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu
It is becoming more and more apparent to me that the general population is experiencing a Spleen imbalance. Do you agree? Well, let me elaborate…
Among other tasks, the Spleen (Spleen/Pancreas) in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the organ system that processes and transports the energy of the food we eat to create Qi (energy) and blood, thereby nourishing the whole body. It purifies and manufactures the blood and keeps it inside the vessels. (If you bruise easily or have bleeding gums, blood in stool, etc this would indicate an imbalance in the Spleen arena.) and in a healthy state, prevents organ prolapse.
When out of balance from an emotional perspective there is WORRY. (Anyone out there relate to worry??) One of the primary functions of the Spleen (along with it’s paired organ, the Stomach) is digestion – not just of food, but also the endless stream of thoughts and outside interactions and distractions that we ‘digest’ every day. An imbalance leads to a sense of not having enough… be that of love, food, money or any other commodity, hence, the tendency to look outside of oneself to alleviate this sense of lack. Just ONE more cookie… ONE more drink…. ONE more pair of shoes…
And where this is also becoming blatantly apparent is in our desire to fulfill relationship connections – by looking to the outside world through digital technology. Endless texting, emailing, Facebooking (is that a word?) is shown to be actually ‘rewiring’ our brain and in so doing, diminishing our capacity to focus.
When we realize that this kind of ‘satisfaction’ will never be quelled by outside sources and that a true sense of peace and inner fulfillment can only come from within, this is a huge first step to recovering balance.
There are a few things that we can do to proactively initiate this process. Acupressure, sound (toning) and meditation are highly recommended for ushering in equilibrium. I will share some ideas that you may wish to include in your daily ‘repertoire’ of activities.
This is such a simple, powerful practice that opens pools of energy located just under the surface of the skin, inviting a more elegant flow of Qi (energy) through the channels of our body.
Here is a point that can bring balance to the Spleen: SP 4 “Grandparent/Grandchild”
Located on the arch of the foot in the dip below the first metatarsal bone, about one thumb’s width from the ball of the foot.
This is a key point in alleviating worry as well as indigestion (another ‘symptom’ of worry) and foot cramps. Using the acronym “BPI” (breath, pressure, intention) press gently and then with increasing pressure as you breathe deeply with full awareness on the point. Hold for between 1 and 3 minutes. (This point can also be accessed by rubbing the ball of the opposite foot or your heel on the area – massaging back and forth.)
We are vibratory Beings. The healing capabilities of sound are simple, non-invasive and powerful. As Jonathon Goldman, wonderful author, musician and sound healer states, “Frequency plus Intention equals Healing”.
The sound of ‘HU’ (sounds like ‘who’) is the Taoist Healing Sound for the Spleen. To practice this I suggest holding the hands gently under the ribs on the left side of the body (where the spleen is housed), breathing in and exhaling to the sound of ‘HU’ several times. Your intention can be around balance and the knowledge that we find our true feelings of fulfillment and peace of mind inside ourselves. Perhaps affirm, “Everything I need comes from within. I am safe.”
I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of slowing down and taking the time to go within. I believe many people who would LIKE to meditate don’t because they think they need to spend at least 30 minutes or more a day in lotus position, eyes closed and quarantined from the outside world.
While I do agree that being alone in a quiet place and having the ability to close your eyes is highly recommended, even a five minute ‘retreat’ to this inner world can do wonders for us, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
The other ‘excuse’ I hear most often, is “I don’t know how to meditate” Or “I can’t turn off my mind.” Well, the National Science Foundation reports that our brains produce up to 50,000 thoughts a day or more (the majority of these thoughts being the SAME ONES), so naturally it is a learned process to still the mind. Stilling the mind, however, doesn’t mean there will not be thoughts. It’s what we do with them. When a stray idea enters the realm of your meditation, rather than become frustrated, acknowledge it and come back to center.
One of the easiest meditations I have found is HAMSA (Sanskrit mantra that relates to the sound of the breath: ‘Ham” on the inhale – sounds like ‘hum’, and “Sa” on the exhale.) Allowing your belly to expand on the in breath to the sound of Ham… and contract on the out breath to the sound of Sa… feel the flow of the breath entering and leaving your body, smooth, deep and complete. Even just a couple of minutes of this can tell your adrenals that ‘all is well’ and make your spleen happy, too. (And by the way, leave your phone in the off position – at least for this short duration. It gets easier.)
So next time you are feeling ’emotional hunger pangs’ whether for actual food or some other type of gratification, bring awareness to the amazing organ of the Spleen that works tirelessly to instill balance and nurturing in our lives. You are worth the effort.
Wishing you health, contentment and an overall sense of Well-Being.