"The Organ Systems In Harmony And Disease"
Chinese medicine has several standards of health. Many of them pertain to the Organ Systems. Others are found in the Psyche. How do you know if you're healthy? How do you know if you're not?
This is the reason why Chinese medicine helps you. You have to have standards. How else can you measure up and see what's happening? Without a standard, then you're just guessing, which is probably what you've been doing. Until now.
"A Neat Little System"
The Organ Systems are Liver/Gall Bladder, Heart/Small Intestine, Kidney-adrenal/Urinary Bladder, Spleen-pancreas/Stomach, Lung/Large Intestine, and Pericardium/Triple Warmer. These are the energetic relationships and partnerships in the body.
The Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung, Kidney, and Pericardium are Yin organs. They're the core organs because they store all the Vital Substances of Essence, Qi, Blood, and Body Fluids. They store only pure substances from their Yang counterparts after they are transformed by those organs.
The Stomach, Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Gall Bladder, Urinary Bladder, and Triple Warmer are Yang organs. They correspond with function. These organs do not store, instead they get filled and emptied. They transform rough food and drink into fuel and energy for the body. They transport "dirty" substances such as urine, too much mucous, semi-digested food, etc.
"The Father Of The Organs"
We'll start with the Liver/Gall Bladder Organ Systems. Liver/Gall Bladder are Wood elements (Five Elements). I'll focus on the Liver because the Yin organ is the important one.
When the Liver is healthy and balanced, then there is a smooth and soothing flow of Qi energy throughout your body. Your feet can walk and your hands can grasp, as an old saying goes. Therefore circulation is good. All of your muscles are relaxed. You feel energetic.
You have energy to move as you wish until the end of your day. Your digestion is good.
If you are a woman, you have pretty good regular menstrual cycles, with little premenstrual discomfort. Fertility is not an issue.
At night you sleep through the night until morning. You feel calm and patient. You are open minded. You have unerring judgment and make sound decisions. You are a good leader.
When the Liver is unhealthy and unbalanced, you may experience allergies, nervous system disorders, poor digestion, menstrual problems, eye problems, muscle tension anywhere in the body, but especially in the neck and shoulders. You suffer from fatigue. Your body may be hard and rigid. That's different from just having good muscle tone.
On the emotional side, you may feel any of these often during the day: anger, frustration, resentment, impatience, edgy, or depressed. You may also be emotionally repressed, moody, and impulsive. You may have poor judgment, resulting in poor decisions. You may be afraid to make decisions. You may be rigid in your thinking. You'll be a negative person to be around.
Chinese medicine certainly treats both the physical and mental/emotional side.
"The Emperor Organ Of The Organ Systems"
The Fire Element (Five Elements) governs the Heart and the Small Intestine. If your Heart is energetically balanced and healthy, then you are very friendly and sincere. You have clarity - clarity in your purpose, clarity in "seeing" through your problems and solving them. The ability to slow down and quiet your mind gives you that clarity. Your physical heart is healthy.
If your Heart is closed you may experience any number of physical heart diseases, such as heart attacks. You may experience breast cancer because it's in that area. There are certainly lots of heart disease and cancer in western society. Might they be due to repressed emotions and sadness? Even though the Heart isn't governed by all of the emotions, it certainly feels them all. And is therefore affected by them all, over a prolonged period of time. If your Heart is unhealthy or unbalanced, you may be depressed. You may be bipolar, manic at one time, deeply depressed and fatigued the next. You probably suffer from insomnia, unable to clear your mind and be quiet in order to fall asleep. Other things related to an unhealthy Heart include mental illness, poor memory, poor circulation, a weak spirit, and an aversion to heat.
"The Centre Of The Body"
Next is the Spleen-pancreas/Stomach Organ Systems. These are the Earth element organs. They digest food and drink and produce a rough Qi. They then transport it to other Organ Systems to make Blood and Qi for general use in your body.
If this system is balanced and healthy, then you are hard-working, practical, and responsible. You like to nurture not only others, BUT ALSO YOURSELF. That's very important.
You have endurance and energy to spare. You have firm muscle tone and can move about as you wish. In other words, you look GOOD. You're strong. You have a good appetite and good digestion.
If your Spleen-pancreas is in good shape, then you are stable mentally, orderly, careful, and creative. Coupled with a sound Liver, you can use these traits to make good decisions. Nothing happens in isolation.
If these Organ Systems are unhealthy and unbalanced, then you'll be extremely fatigued, even chronically. You'll have poor appetite, indigestion, nausea, and/or a dull sense of taste. You may experience blood sugar imbalances. You may gain weight or lose weight.
You'll act compulsively and may accumulate useless things in your life. You'll feel "stuck", unable to move forward in your life. As part of that, you'll be closed minded since you're not moving. You may be disorganized, living in disorder.
Chinese medicine can restore balance back into this and any of the Organ Systems.
"The Lungs In Harmony and Disease"
Metal governs the Lungs/Large Intestines. The Lungs create Qi energy for the body from the Qi it receives from the air you breathe and from the Qi of food and drink you eat.
The Lungs govern the nose and the throat. Therefore when there is health, your nasal and air passages are clear and unobstructed. Your skin is clear, shining, and luminous. You have a natural glow. Your hair is shiny and healthy. You have a small healthy amount of mucous that lubricates your bodily functions.
You are able to either avoid colds and flus or you are over them in short time. A cold usually takes about 7 days to get over it. Your immune system is strong.
If you have healthy Lungs, then you can hold onto your principles and keep your commitments. You create order out of chaos and are effective at what you do.
You are emotionally strong enough to let go of objects or relationships when you sense they no longer serve you. It's natural to grieve and mourn, if appropriate, but you "get over" it and move on. So, you hold on when appropriate and also let go when necessary for your well being.
Here are signs if your Lung energy is unbalanced:
You may have a lot more than a couple of colds or flus per year. You may "catch" colds or the flu one after the other or have one that seems to last forever.
You may have a chronic cough. Your skin may be dry, dull, or rough. You may experience actual skin ailments, even skin cancer. Hair is also dry and dull looking.
If you are holding grudges or not letting go of situations, things, feelings, and relationships, then you'll have problems. If your Lungs are weak, then you'll experience loss with confusion. You'll try to repress the sadness, never completely letting go. You may become disorganized. You may become unusually attached to your material possessions and obsessively hold onto them or you'll lose them easily.
People who are chronically constipated usually have a difficult time letting go of something. There's a lot of that going on in North America.
There are serious consequences if you're not letting go of sadness and grief. You may get lung cancer. This explains how some people, who never smoked or were exposed to second hand smoke, get cancer. You may also get breast cancer, because it's in the general area.
Chinese medicine helps you let go.
"The Mother Of All Organ Systems"
The Kidney-adrenals/Urinary Bladder Organ Systems are governed by the Water element. No surprise, since both organs deal with fluids metabolism in your body. Namely the processing of urine and its elimination.
In Chinese medicine, the Kidney-adrenals are the root and foundation of your body. They rule the lower part of the body, from the lower back to the hips and the lower limbs.
They contribute to your energy, feeling of warmth in the body, sexuality, reproduction, and development. They are the root of Yin and Yang of your body and affect them.
Weak Kidney-adrenals exhibit as pain in the lower back, the hips, and the knees, primarily.
They affect the bones, including the teeth and the ears. So if the tiny 3 bones in the ear are affected, then your hearing may suffer. You may also suffer from ear infections. You may have bad teeth and gums.
The Kidney-adrenals Organ Systems affect the aging process. In this case, you may suffer from premature hair loss and/or premature graying. Both ideally should not happen before age 49 in women and age 64 in men according to Chinese medicine! You'll experience premature aging on one end and in children, poor growth and development.
You may be waking up at night to go to the bathroom. Your children may be bedwetting.
you may suffer from sexual or reproductive issues: infertility in both men and women, premature ejaculation and impotence in men, or menstrual problems in women.
On the emotional side, you'll experience fearfulness and insecurity. You'll lack the courage and drive to go after your dreams and desires. You may feel aimless.
"Now You Know What Good Health Looks Like"
I described what it's like for any of these Organ Systems to be well or diseased. But wellness or illness don't occur in isolation. One system will affect at least another. You have to connect the dots!
You now have an idea of what wellness looks like, both physically and emotionally. By learning what good health looks like, you can then use that as a basis when you're not feeling well. It tells you why you are not feeling well. Then you look for solutions.
So these are the Organ Systems in a nutshell. This explains the energetic and physiological properties of the main organs in your bodies. In many ways, the physical functions agree with Western physiology. But because the true nature of your being is energetic, it also reflects that part as well.
The Organ Systems are part of the holistic approach in medicine.
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