The Spleen is an organ that you will find in the upper left part of the abdomen and to the left of your Stomach. It is the size of your fist and is 4 inches long. The main spleen function is filtering blood; it is the largest lymphatic organ of your body. The Spleen is the receptacle where old red blood cells are recycled. The spleen stores the platelets and white blood cells. The white cells or lymphocytes act as a defensive barrier protecting you against bacteria and viruses with powerful antibodies, which helps kill foreign pathogens and stops infections.
The Spleen is not essential for survival and it may help you to live without the physical organ; however, the importance of the energetic meridian and functions cannot be undermined. It is said that without the Spleen, the other organs in the body empower themselves to have the ability to fight infection and remove the old red blood cells.
The Importance of Spleen in Our Bodies – Spleen Function
The Spleen is the place where the body’s transportation and distribution take place. It is important to keep your Spleen healthy as it helps in the proper circulation of the blood in the vessels. It impacts the muscles as it transports the blood and energy to the flesh and limbs. It uplifts the Chi, keeping our organs in place, maintaining the balance in the body and its proper position. The spleen also allows us to savor the five different types of taste.
What happens when the Spleen becomes imbalanced? A spleen qi deficiency shows up several symptoms such as cold hands and feet, as there is not enough energy sufficiently distributed. As the muscles do not receive the essence of food, you may also experience signs of weakness and fatigue. As the movement of fluids become sluggish, it leads to thickening and coagulation, as there is stagnation in the flow. There is also mucous accumulation leading to swelling, stones, fibroid tumors, constipation, a feeling of heaviness, and even paralysis. Some parts of the body may be withered and emaciated. As the blood-movement is disrupted, you will undergo other conditions such as varicose veins, masses, hemorrhoids, and menstrual problems on the lines of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, and menorrhagia.
Chinese medicine links the function of the spleen with the pancreas. You can locate the pancreas, a pear-shaped gland, right behind the stomach in the upper part of your left abdomen. A healthy pancreas releases the right amount of chemicals to digest the foods we eat. The two main functions of the pancreas are exocrine and endocrine.
The exocrine tissue enables digestion by producing pancreatic enzymes when food enters the stomach and eases it into the duodenum. This helps in aiding the digestion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The remaining tissue consists of endocrine cells, also known as the Islets of Langerhans. These cells release the hormones insulin and glucagon, that are then transported throughout the bloodstream to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Spleen Acupressure Points
The primary function of the spleen is to carry the food and drink we consume and transform into Qi. If all the processes in our body go on properly, we feel alert and energetic. So what is spleen deficiency? A spleen deficiency results when the pancreas, along with the stomach are not breaking down the food efficiently and helping in absorbing the food and drink. This means we are not able to get enough energy to fuel our activities. When the spleen isn’t functioning optimally, we suffer from a number of conditions such as fatigue, weak muscles, digestion problems such as loose stools or diarrhea, bloating, other issues such as unusual bleeding or bruising, and mental issues such as excessive worry and/or feelings of depression. Yes, you can revive a weak spleen with lifestyle changes, good food habits, Chinese herbs and the treatment of acupuncture. For a good diet, you have to abstain from greasy foods and curb your sugar addiction.
San Yin Jiao or the SP6 acupressure point is commonly used for pelvic disorders, urological, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. Find the San Yin Jiao (SP6) on the inside of your leg, located just above your ankle. First, find the highest peak of the ankle and move 2 four finger-widths up your leg. Now, apply deep pressure just behind the bone (called tibia) and keep applying pressure on the area for 4-5 seconds. A note of caution, do not activate the San Yin Jiao (SP6) acupressure point during pregnancy, as this point triggers off labor.
Spleen 6 is one of the most sought-after acupressure points. This point is also known as the ‘three yin intersection’ as the liver and kidney channels also pass through here. It is what you can call the primary points for several disorders such as digestive, gynecological, and urinary disorders, apart from emotional and sleep disorders. This point helps nourish and revive the weakness of the organ and remove the dampness in the body. This point also helps resolve the feeling of heaviness, edema/swelling in the legs, urination problems such as difficulty in urination, retention of urine, night-time urination, painful or cloudy urine, and other similar conditions. This point has the power to cool the body and invigorate circulation. It also helps resolve problems such as anxiety and insomnia.
We as a nation are plagued by our overworked lifestyles; our Liver and Spleen meridians are largely affected by this constant feeling of pressure and stress. Spleen 6 is thus an integral part of most of the acupuncture treatments as it helps improve general-wellness, balancing your overall health and helps in reducing stress.
Although Spleen 6 is a potent point for combating many health issues, it is particularly effective in treating gynecological conditions which are right at the top of the list.
By gynecological, we mean symptoms such as PMS, irregular or painful menstruation, genital pain or itching, infertility, and delayed or difficult labor. They can all be treated by the combination of Spleen, Liver, and Kidney. Gynecological issues can result from a disruption in the systems, so, the Spleen 6 acupressure point influences them all in equal measure. Not just women’s health, the Spleen 6 acupressure point also addresses reproductive health in men. It treats problems such as genital pain, impotence, and seminal emission.
Spleen meridian points, when used in conjunction with the stomach 36 points, focus on resolving digestive issues which result in Dampness.
As it is linked to the digestive disorders, Dampness leads to diarrhea, abdominal distention or undigested food in the stool, and weak appetite. You will find these symptoms in people who are overworked and stressed-out. These are some of the symptoms of an overactive liver and a spleen deficiency.
Spleen 6 is one of the most multifaceted acupressure points for spleen health and has a powerful effect on the body.