LATE SUMMER OF THE SPLEEN
You know what it's like to get stuck in a loop of thinking? Some cross between obsession and irresolution? If so, chances are it was all in your Spleen. At least the way we see it through Chinese Medicine. The Spleen qi is particularly susceptible to getting congested and stuck like a tire spinning in the mud. Sounds gross. But it's just energy, you guys. Seriously though, it's freaky. Late Summer is... The Time of the Spleen. (cue the spooky music)
Chinese Medicine is rooted in Taoism and all about naturalism. The body is understood to contain five systems (linked to organs in the body) and nature is understood to have correlating five seasons. So in addition to the regular four seasons, there's an extra one: sandwiched between Summer and Fall is the fifth season: Late Summer, and it pertains to the Spleen. The Spleen is affiliated with our intellect, digestion, fluid physiology, and ability to process emotions and give and receive nourishment. The Spleen is a processing center and when things go awry we feel it and see it in the body. Water retention, varicose veins, bloating, and excessive worrying are a few examples of how we might notice that the Spleen is running weak and clotted with dampness.
Chinese Medicine is built of metaphor, imagery, and ideas that translate to sensations in the body. Many of you have heard me say this before, but I'll say it again: acupuncture is poetry. Each organ in the body has a pathway, emotions, states of mind, a spiritual stance, a season, a color, a sound, a flavor, and on and on. In the great cosmos of the world, and likewise, in the mini-cosmos of each of our bodies, everything has its place. Meridians are pathways dotted with hubs of energy into which I put the needles. Some points pertain more to the body and the earth, and some, the celestial points are more spiritual, whereas other points and techniques aim toward the mental-emotional body.
When an organ is in its prime season, it has the potential to be its strongest, and at the same time, this is most often when the weaknesses show. Isn't that true generally for our best and brightest qualities? That they are often our challenges too? I'm a pretty strong thinker and I have a skill for looking at things from various angles, but, so far this Late Summer, I've been over-thinking like a machine on loop, so I'm sending the love to my Spleen right now and reminding myself that yin and yang theory teaches us--just like day and night fall, just like Winter and Summer--that everything is in flux, and has heights and falls, and it all belongs. Sometimes that trust is hard to come by, and that's why we have each other. I'm here to help. Let me know if you need a hand with your body, mind or spirit, or if you are just curious how to feel more safe and comfortable in your own body.
All my best,