During this beautiful time of year when the earth element, represented by the spleen and stomach meridians is most active, it is important to support these energies for optimal health. I’ve spoken quite a bit about the stomach meridian, so I would like to focus on the spleen energies for today.
The Daoist philosophy, which is represented by Traditional Chinese Medicine, believes that the spleen stores our intention and ideas. The emotions associated with the spleen are remorse, worry, obsessiveness, suspicion, self- doubt and self-centeredness when imbalanced. When the spleen energies are flowing freely, attributes such as acceptance, openness, faith, honesty, and truthfulness can be present.
One of the most common TCM patterns of imbalance seen in the Western hemisphere is Spleen Chi Deficiency. This condition has symptoms of weakness in the limbs, poor appetite, bloating after meals, fatigue and loose stools. Spleen Chi Deficiency can be the result of poor diet, stress or irregular eating habits.
Some ways to support the spleen meridian are:
- Eat warm, cooked meals- which are easier to digest
- Add warming spices to your food: ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon
- Pungent foods such as fennel, onions, and garlic increase the digestive fire.
- Eat small, frequent meals to stimulate the spleen’s energy.
- Vegetables such as turnips, sweet potato, carrots, squash, yam, pumpkin, black beans, and garbanzo beans are very nourishing to the spleen.
- Small portions of cooked fruit for sweetness will stimulate spleen energy.
- Eat small amounts of fatty fish, chicken, turkey, beef or lamb and avoid dairy.
- Meditate, practice yoga and eat with mindfulness.
Yin Yoga is especially helpful to balance the spleen energies. The website annieauyoga.com is a wonderful source for yin yoga poses. Enjoy!