the Earth Element

The Earth element (Rock) is associated with the Stomach and the Spleen. Earth (Spleen) regulates Water (Kidneys) feeds Metal (Lungs) and is fed by Fire (Heart).

The state of the Spleen is one of the most important factors determining the amount of physical energy a person has. Its functions affecting digestion could be correlated with the pancreas secretion of digestive enzymes. It is the central organ in the digestive process and the production of energy from the food and drink ingested. It is the basis for the formation of Vitality and Blood. Its primary function is to assist Stomach digestion by transporting and transforming food essences. Absorbing the nourishment from food and separating the usable from unusable parts, the “clear” parts go upwards to the Lungs to be distributed to the skin and the “dirty” part goes downward to the intestines where it is further separated.

The Spleen produces a “lifting” effect along the midline of the body. It is this force that keeps the internal organs are in their proper place and is in charge of holding the Blood together. If we wish to tonify the Blood, we must always tonify the Spleen.

The mouth has a functional relationship with the Spleen; the action of chewing prepares food for the Spleen to transform and transport its food essences. If the Spleen function is abnormal, there may be impairment of the sense of taste, or the presence of an abnormal taste, lack of appetite or the lips may be pale and dry.

The Spleen influences capacities for thinking, studying, concentrating, focusing and memorizing work or schoolwork subjects. The Spleen, Heart and Kidneys, all have an influence on thinking and memory in different ways. The Heart influences the mind and thinking clearly when faced with life problems and it affects long-term memory of past events.

The Kidneys influence short-term memory in everyday life. For example, in old age, there is a decline of Kidney essence and many old people often forget recent events yet are able to remember long-past events. Similarly, some people may have an extraordinary memory in their work or study field yet are very forgetful in every-day life. Psychological indications of an imbalance of the Spleen may manifest as over-working; over concern for details; restlessness with anxiety; always being dissatisfied or in a hurry and a tendency not to talk to others and remain alone.

Being hesitant or timid and having a tendency to over think, being overly cautious, anxious, nervous about details, frustrated or lacking in affection are also indications.

The Spleen’s activity of transformation and transportation can be easily impaired by the excessive consumption of cold liquids or icy drinks. If the Spleen is weak, fluids will not be transformed or transported properly, it may cause urinary problems or vaginal discharges. There may be poor appetite, bad digestion, abdominal distension or loose stools.

When food essences cannot reach the limbs, they will feel cold and weak or may accumulate edema. One will feel weary; there may be prolapse of various organs such as uterus, stomach, kidney, bladder or anus. The muscles will be weak and, in severe cases, may atrophy. Blood may spill out of the vessels resulting in hemorrhages, spontaneous bruising or varicose veins. Tiredness is a common complaint when the Spleen need be tonified. If weak, thinking will be dull, concentration will wane and memory will be poor. Conversely, excessive studying, mental work and concentration for sustained periods can weaken the Spleen. Other physical manifestations of an imbalance include a brownish color in the face, lack of exercise resulting in poor circulation in the legs and feet, overeating, vomiting, gastric hyperacidity, cold sores, constant thirst, stiffness in the shoulder or pain and stiffness in the solar plexus; also repeated symptoms of catching a cold or the flu, rough skin, dry complexion, belching and yawning, nasal stagnation and redness on top of the nose. One may experience a tendency to recline and rest, cravings for cold or soft food; their appetite may be influenced by mood and quality of food, they tend to consume food without thorough mastication and have irregular meals or a tendency to eat while doing something.

If Spleen function is, normal digestion will be good, with good appetite, normal absorption and regular bowel movements. The sense of taste will be good and the lips moist and rosy. Blood will circulate normally and stay in the vessels. Vitality will be directed to the muscles, particularly the limbs. If flourishing, thinking will be clear and one will be able to concentrate and memorize easily.


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