Meridians, or energy channel, correspond to one of the twelve organs in the human body, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine; each are affiliated to one of the five elements, and assuming said characteristics. Organs are either Yin or Yang, with corresponding Yin to Yang ratios and vice versa.
- Element-Earth-Organs -Spleen (Yin)-Stomach (Yang)
- Element-Metal-Organs-Lungs (Yin)-Large Intestine (Yang)
- Element-Water-Organs-Kidneys (Yin)-Bladder (Yang)
- Element-Wood-Organs-Liver (Yin)-Gall Bladder (Yang)
- Element-Fire-Organs-Heart (Yin) Pericardium (Xin Bao)-Small Intestine (Yang) Triple Heater (San Jiao)
Internal functions of the “Mighty Twelve”
Spleen & Stomach are responsible for digestion, assimilation & distribution of water and other essential nutrients throughout the body. Both Earth elements, their efficient functions are vital for optimal health and maintenance. This duo not only governs digestion (nutrients are extracted from food through teamwork), they raise (fire) nutrients up to Heart & Lungs where it is then circulated through breathing; spleen controls healthy development of muscles & limbs as reflected in gorgeously kissable lips. Our intellect is also housed in the spleen. *Poor spleen energy can give rise to mental confusion & forgetfulness. Symptoms (disharmony) include the following: bloating, poor appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, weight gain, nausea, thirst, spontaneous bruising, heaviness, weakness of arms & legs, poor muscle tone, memory problems, emotional tendencies, pervasiveness (obsessive compulsive disorder and vexation) and also prone to Dampness.
Lungs & Large Intestines are responsible for our respiration, controlling air flow & Qi flow; linked to Large Intestine to remove solid wastes from our bodies. Metal elementals, prone to dryness, phlegm & coldness, this duo governs our breathing with Lungs; controlling Qi flow, releasing wei Qi (defense energy) throughout body. This, ladies is behind beautiful skin & FAB toned muscles. It also controls pores & nose, as well as bowel movement (breathing massages colon via diaphragm to ensure regular movements). Symptoms include: voice weakness, shortness of breath, fatigue, cold hands, prone to colds, spontaneous sweating, sinus problems, airborne allergies, poor sense of smell, sneezing. Emotional tendencies are grief and sadness related.
Kidney & Bladder (Kidneys) encourage growth and play a part in reproduction. This pair regulates water, hence the link to the bladder. Kidneys not only govern development as well as growth but they restore reproductive Qi (which is linked to inherit Qi) as well. They produce bones and marrow (which nurtures bones) & assist brain functions and central controller of body fluids. Both water elements, susceptible to dryness & cold. Kidneys are also believed to control ears via meridians and nourish hair through blood by Kidney Jing. Symptoms include infertility, impotence, premature aging, weak bones & teeth, mental retardation, dizziness, pale/dark urine, stones, cystitis, deafness, tinnitus, premature balding & graying. Emotional tendencies involve fear, lack of will and motivation. Kidneys, the root of Qi; houses the Gate of Life.
Liver & Gall Bladder is also related to the digestive system and controls movement of Qi. Smooth flowing Qi regulates emotions. Liver also regulates the amount of blood flowing through our body and is closely linked to a woman’s menstruation, the eyes, tendons, nails (which reflects livers’ health). Both Wood elements; gall bladder stores bile, which aids digestion. This duo is susceptible to heat, damp-heat, dryness and also anger, frustration, & irritability as emotional tendencies. Symptoms include stagnation of Qi, migraines, depression, and irregular/painful/absence of menstruation, stagnation of blood, poor vision, photophobia, blood-shot eyes, dark/pale, and dry, cracked nails.
Heart & Small Intestine are ruled by heat, controls life process, and coordinate actions of other Zang-Fu organs. Small intestine separates waste (Pure from impure) after digestion. Both fire elements, Heart Qi governs blood flow, manifested in our complexion (many facial vessels can indicate our heart’s condition). Our heart, which the Chinese believe is closely linked to our emotions or mental activities & shen (spirit) as well as the tongue and speech. Symptoms include cold hands (bright white color), lack of vigor, fatigue, blood stagnation (blue-purple), heat (bright red), depression, anxiety, poor memory, insomnia, palpitations, indecision, stuttering, and incessant talking. Emotional tendencies include over enthusiasm, inappropriate behavior & mania.
FYI…the heart houses the soul (shen). Zang (solid) organs are: Lungs, Spleen, Heart, Liver and Kidneys. Fu (hollow) organs are: Bladder, Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Gall Bladder, Stomach & San Jiao (Triple Heater).
Article first published as http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/tcms-mighty-twelve-unite-to-help/ on Blogcritics.