Your spleen may be small, but it plays a critical part in your overall energy and sense of well-being, so it makes good sense to understand and nurture it!
Signs of a Weak Spleen: One of the Spleen’s functions is to hold things in place. This includes muscles, organs and even blood. When your spleen is weakened the chances are you will notice that your muscles are soft and that you bruise easily. You are also more susceptible to organ prolapse.
A weak spleen also dulls and distorts your sense of taste so you may crave stronger flavours or find that your favourite foods taste strange. Even worse, a weak spleen affects your ability to concentrate, remember clearly, and process thoughts so you may find yourself creating problems in your own head.
Conditions That Stress Your Spleen
- Too much study or work – long hours without a break.
- Anxiety – this can be a circular problem: a weak spleen leads to worry, and worry in turn weakens your spleen. It’s important to break this cycle as soon as you notice it!
- Too much exercise – the spleen likes gentle exercise and massage so after a hard workout, get a gentle massage to restore it.
- Wrong foods – the spleen struggles to process foods that are too cold, greasy or sweet, as well as alcohol. It also processes any food much more effectively if you concentrate on your eating, rather than eating while studying, working, or absorbed in something else (even watching TV).
5 Ways to Keep Your Spleen Happy
Now we’ve looked at what to avoid, here are 5 things you can do to keep your spleen happy, so that you raise your energy levels and sense of well-being.
- Eat small, frequent meals. Chew every mouthful thoroughly, slow down your eating and don’t skip meals;
- Choose foods that are warm in nature (eg. Ginger) and sweet, but not sugary (eg. Sweet potato, carrots etc)
- Avoid raw vegetables and icy drinks which make your spleen work harder. If you feel tired after eating, it is usually because you have stressed your spleen.
- Avoid foods that are too hot in nature (eg. alcohol, drugs, and refined sugars)
- Stick to regular mealtimes and don’t go to bed right after eating as your body typically doesn’t digest well while you sleep.
Take care of your spleen with nutritious food, and regular meals and it will keep you energised and happy.
Digestion or energy issues? See what TCM can do…
Jackie had a long history of quite severe digestive problems. She was constantly bloated with low energy and fluctuated between constipation and loose stools as well as experiencing stomach pain and cramps whenever she ate. Despite lots of tests by her GP and specialists they couldn’t find any specific cause of her issues.
After a few sessions of acupuncture which focused on strengthening her spleen, plus prescribed Chinese herbs to support her spleen and liver, she saw a remarkable improvement. She found that when she ate soups and cooked vegetables she didn’t have any indigestion and her stools were more consistent. She also started to sleep better and both her moods and energy improved.
She is continuing treatment and has seen steady progress on all fronts.
Dianne’s primary reason for coming to our clinic was to lose weight. She was just a bit pudgy, but she felt that her thinking was fuzzy, she was constantly tired, and she craved sugary foods. “It wasn’t just that I wanted to lose weight,” she said, “it’s more that I’m feeling like my eating (and probably my life) is out of control.”
Dianne was working long hours in payroll and would arrive home late, eat a big supper and go to bed. In the morning, she would skip breakfast because she wasn’t hungry and just have a cup of coffee. At lunch she would eat a salad. In between meals she tried to resist the urge to each chocolate or other sugary snacks.
It was clear that her system was lethargic so, during her first treatment we focused on ‘getting the machine moving again’ and she took home some Chinese herbs that would strengthen and nourish her spleen. She substituted soup for her salads at lunch time and changed her evening routine so she had time to digest before bed. She is seeing steady progress in her energy, ability to focus and sleep patterns and has lost quite a bit of weight.
Using natural therapies to balance your spleen function will improve your health and help to prevent future health problems.
Nourishing Creamy Potato Salad to nurture the spleen