Welcome To The Ballgame, Mr. Spleen!

Danh NgoEastern Medicine Division, Spleen, Uncategorized


Spleen is the major organ to produce Qi.  Qi is basically your energy.   Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a paradox, simple yet complicated.  Simple in that its is all about balance, yin and yang.  Complicated since TCM is a system that believes all organs work together for that balance for optimal health and emotional well being.

Teamwork is the name of the game and the spleen is the underrated organ.  It is the closer of a baseball team.  Everyone talks about the pitcher or the power hitter but the closer is the player that finishes a game when the team is winning. The closer does not participate when the team is losing.  When our body is deficient and not balanced, the spleen has a losing chance to get the body well, it cannot even participate.  When the team is ahead, a strong closer helps the body have a chance to be well.  When the closer gives up the game, the experience can demoralize the experience of a ballgame, impacting the psyche of the team.

The spleen helps with the digestion of food and turns the food into energy in your body.  If your spleen doesn’t have energy to function, then your body doesn’t turn the food you eat into energy.  This is one common reason people feel fatigued all the time.  The common complaint of having food coma is actually a sign of spleen qi deficiency. In severe cases some may even experience loose stool because the deficient spleen cannot help with digestion any more.

What makes your spleen depleted of energy?  The most common reason is eating and drinking ice and cold food and over indulging.  We are so used to drinking ice cold water or beer on a hot day that we even drink cold beverages on cold nights.  The spleen is an organ that prefers warmth.  All the cold food and drink we consume weakens the spleen and cause it to have deficiency in energy.

We are in a fast paced society.  We want everything done fast and we want everything in a convenient way.  We either eat food really fast or we eat while we are still working.   It is too common nowadays that a family dinner or a friendly outings consist of people stuck to their smartphone.   Another one of the spleen’s functions is it houses the thoughts.  When we over straining our mind, we also damage and weaken our spleen.

My personal thoughts on the gluten allergy trend is simply that our society and lifestyle weakens our spleen.  When people start having a gluten-free diet, it decreases the strain on the spleen and people feel their symptoms improving.  Gluten is simply protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale.   It acts as glue to hold the food in its shape.  If the food you take in is glued into its shape, and you don’t chew your food well since your mind is distracted, when the food gets to your spleen, you will strain it to the point that you think you are allergic to gluten.  This concept is VITAL to understanding gluten sensitivities and allergies as it relates to spleen health. The bottom line is your weakened spleen is unable to help you transform food into energy.

We do too many things that are damaging our spleen and we end up suffering later on. Overloaded by job pressures, school, family life, and a fast-paced society, our body goes into overdrive, putting stress on the liver and depleting energy from the spleen.  This is the way our society goes.  We push ourselves to the limit, neglecting our overall health. When we reach our breaking point, we treat reactively through drugs and other western medicinal practices, looking for the quick fix.  If you do not want to suffer from illness that can be managed through the proper way of living, keeping the “yin and yang” balanced will be the key to a healthier life.

When your doctor asks you to go out and exercise, and your body just doesn’t have the energy to do it, it may be more than you think.  The proper management of your health might be the solution before you can follow your doctor’s orders.

Email me at revitalizerehab@gmail.com for a list of foods that BOOSTS and DEPLETES the spleen.

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