Whatever condition exists at the visible level of the body means something deeper is happening within.
This “something” is an imbalance in how the five integrated organ systems are designed to cooperate for the good of the whole, since all the organs are in constant communication with each other.
Most messages zip around faster than the speed of light! They are also intimately connected with beliefs, thoughts and emotions. Nothing is separate.
In the multidimensional framework of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the root cause of conditions exists at the invisible, energetic level first, then migrates to the physical level where they may be detected through observation or screening devices. If there’s a disconnect in relationships between organs, the body has the wisdom to send us an S.O.S.
The question is how to decode the signals? Nan Lu, OMD, Grandmaster of Wu Ming Qigong, TCM practitioner and teacher, as well as the founder of the largest U.S. educational foundation dedicated to sharing this medicine system’s ancient secrets, offers these insights.
In TCM’s Five Element framework, the liver and gallbladder are lifelong partners. One of their jobs is to protect the health of nails, which are good barometers of liver function. If they have ridges, are thin, brittle and break frequently, the liver is broadcasting that it needs help performing its assigned functions. Check out the nails’ half moons. If they are small or non-existent, Qi or vital energy is low. It’s like a warning sign the body is running out of gas.
Migraine headaches, particularly on the left side, are a sign the gallbladder meridian, or energy channel, located in this area has energy stagnation. The liver also takes responsibility for eye function. This sense organ is the liver’s opening to the external world. Vision problems, blurry, red or dry eyes indicate a liver dysfunction. Maintaining liver health is one of the most important things women can do, because this organ also handles smooth blood flow. Virtually all menstrual problems (which are not a normal part of a women’s life) can be traced to sluggish liver performance.
There’s another organ pair—the spleen and stomach—that has lots of messages to share when it comes to getting back to balance and health.
The tongue is a good indicator of internal imbalances in stomach function. A white coating on the tongue that won’t go away? This S.O.S. means the body is experiencing too much cold. Cold is a big deal in TCM. For thousands of years, this system has considered it a pathogen, or disease/illness-causing agent. Cold energy or cold temperature can do a lot of harm. A greasy, yellow coating? The liver is likely overheating. A fat, puffed-up tongue? The body is complaining about carrying excess dampness, a difficult condition that can cause edema, skin issues and more. Ridges along the sides of the tongue? This indicates an energy deficiency. If an individual’s Qi or vital energy system continues to become depleted, it will crash.
The spleen and stomach are chatty. Belching, bloating, and burping are all signs of imbalance. Treat this pair well by avoiding cold beverages and foods with a cold essence like salads. These organs only want warm things! Drink hot tea and coffee; eat nourishing soups. Adding ginger and cinnamon, which both have a warm essence, can improve any diet. Working with a skilled acupuncturist can also help re-balance stomach and spleen function. Then, the body can do the rest of the healing work.
Here is a third organ pair—kidney and bladder. First, these lifelong partners have to cooperate smoothly. Then, they have to play well with the other organ systems.
What kicks these hardworking organs out of balance? Often, it’s the emotional frequency of deep-down fear, or overuse of the kidney’s irreplaceable, precious Qi. The kidney has its own sense organ to guard, which is the ear. Tinnitus—a condition Western medicine finds challenging to cure—is the kidney’s way of sending an S.O.S. Acupuncture can also help alleviate this vexing condition.
TCM associates the kidney with the knee, lower back and heel—places where many people experience pain. While it helps to treat the pain, it’s a messenger of a deeper issue relating to an imbalance or dysfunction in the kidney. One unmistakable sign of a kidney disorder is cold hands and feet. Extremities that are always cold is the sign the body is begging for more internal warmth to keep its flame going. Rest is a main ingredient in re-balancing kidney function.
Avoiding drinking too much water helps as well, since this forces the bladder to use up energy it could otherwise use for healing. Don’t carry around bottles of water, either. Just the energy of carrying filled liter bottles robs your energy bank. Switch to a simple hot tea made with real ginger root, honey and lemon juice. Warm up the kidney with a heating pad. Would-be parents need to know infertility and low sperm count are associated with poor kidney function.
Each of these organ pairs has to cooperate with the body’s other two pairs, heart with small intestine, and lung with large intestine.
The physical organs may test perfectly, because Western medicine devices are designed to test the body’s physical “hardware.” TCM has different principles and theories that allow it to evaluate the body’s “software,” or energetic system. There are many natural tools and techniques a TCM practitioner can use to help the body return to balance. Taken together, the three organ systems discussed comprise the vital triangle for healthy metabolism function.
Our bodies are born with their own amazing wisdom. If this trio of organ pairs doesn’t operate in sync with the other two, it will find a way to send an S.O.S. in the form of fatigue, digestion issues, muscle and tendon problems, memory loss and more.
Learning to communicate with this wisdom can improve anyone’s health.
Author: Nan Lu
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: Soffie Hicks/Flickrq