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The Nourishing Spleen

How is your spleen energy?

One of the most important relationships within the meridian and organ system is between spleen and heart. In my recent blogs we have been learning of the complex and dynamic energy of the heart field and how it is the governing energy of the body. We have also explored how to help stabilise that heart field.

So now we are turning our attention to one of the key energy systems that nourishes the heart; the Spleen. When we think of Spleen energy we should think of nourishment.

The Bai Hu Dong tells us ‘the spleen is the essence of the element earth. The highest function of earth is to nourish all creatures so as to give them form.”

Powerful, gentle and nurturing, Spleen is the yin aspect of the Earth Element. When our Spleen energy is balanced then we are in a place of natural abundance, we are able to receive the abundance of the earth, knowing we are nourished and provided for. Spleen needs to be in balance to integrate or metabolise the activities, experiences and thoughts of our daily life, and its relationship with Heart is central to such integration.

Because Spleen is also responsible for giving form, it works in keeping the physicality of our body elastic and ‘bouncy’…if you have bits of your body that are getting saggy then you know that you need to give Spleen energy some help! With its relationship within the collateral system, Spleen 21 as the Great Luo point is also responsible for nourishing the blood which is of course vital for the energetic and physical health of the heart field.

When we look at the picture of the horary cycle to the left, we can see how Spleen energy flows into Heart energy.

Donna Eden notes how many people who have heart attacks do so within the hours of 9-11am, which is the hours in which Spleen energy is at its height within this horary cycle. This is because of the vital role that Spleen plays in feeding its nourishing energy into Heart. If Spleen isn’t vibrant and balanced then there is very little juice to pass onto the Heart system and depletion of the heart field occurs.

So, how do we keep Spleen vital and balanced? Spleen energy, more than any other energy in the whole-body system, is impacted greatly by stress. We see that Spleen sits across the horary wheel from Triple Warmer, and Triple Warmer governs our fight, flight, freeze response system. Because of the relationship between Spleen and Triple Warmer they are hardwired to draw energy from each other. In traditional Chinese medicine understandings, such relationships that sit across the Horary wheel are called the Wife/Husband partnerships because each needs to be in continual balance with the other.

When our Triple Warmer energy is triggered into high alert due to stress, then the very first place that the Triple Warmer system draws energy from is Spleen. And Spleen gives its energy willingly and in abundance. This generous giving helps marshal Triple Warmer in its defence of the whole-body system, or it simply reassures Triple Warmer thus bringing the system back down from alert and into harmony. Spleen and Triple Warmer also are the energetic components of the immune system with Spleen being the parasympathetic (nourishing) and Triple Warmer the sympathetic (defensive). So, hopefully, you are getting a good picture of how vital it is to keep your spleen energy balanced.

The video below shows a wonderful spleen stretch you can do regularly to keep your spleen energy balanced and support your immune system and your ability to thrive.

With love, Prune


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