How does the function of the spleen work?
The function of the spleen is controversial between biology and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In biology, the spleen plays an important role in immune system response and removal of red blood cells. In TCM, the spleen plays an important role in the distribution of nutrients following digestion.
A weak spleen, in TCM, implies that nutrients from ingested food are not effectively utilised, resulting in signs and symptoms that resembles malnourishment, such as tiredness, poor appetite, wasting, and low weight. Other tell-tale signs of a weak spleen include abdominal bloating, loose stool, and water retention.
Check with your TCM physician if you have a weak spleen. If you’ve already had it diagnosed (or self-diagnosed), here’s a few tips to improve your spleen function:
1. Stimulate the Spleen Meridian
Knock gently or massage along the spleen meridian. You may start above the ankle on the inner side of the lower leg, gradually moving upwards, to and fro, ending before the knee joint. Continue on the inner frontal side of the thighs, and end before the trunk.
Stimulate acupoints of the spleen meridian, such as Sanyinjiao (Sp6), Yinlingquan (Sp9), or Gongsun (Sp4). Press deeply yet gently on each acupoint, hold for a few seconds. Feel slight soreness or tightness at the point of acupressure. Do so repeatedly for 1-2 minutes.
Take regular meals, and avoid sweet, greasy, raw, or cold food. Choose foods that help improve spleen function such as glutinous rice, red date, chicken meat (lean), and Chinese yam.
Herbal foods that helps replenish Spleen qi includes American ginseng (Xiyangshen), astragalus (Huangqi), atractylodes rhizome (Baizhu), and jujube dates (dazao). These herbs are commonly served together in herbal chicken soup.
For those who find it inconvenient to prepare their own meals, a quick fix would be herbal tea infusion. Add 2-3 slices of American ginseng, 1 red date, and 1 thin strip of orange peel to boiling water. Let it rest for 5 minutes, and it’s ready to drink!
Overthinking or prolonged mental stimulation weakens the Spleen. Try to rest the mind, when possible. Cultivate a positive outlook of life, and avoid overthinking.
Engage in frequent, low-intensity exercises, within the range of no fatigue and tiredness, for enhanced stamina. Keep yourself warm and dry, to protect Spleen qi. Avoid overworking and ensure sufficient rest.
Aimin TCM has years of experience with weight loss, metabolic issues and other health issues including poor constitutions. Make an appointment with us for a free online consultation to understand more about your condition.
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