Organs as connecting links between body, soul, and psyche
From scientific medical knowledge, we see organs as purely physical structures with a concrete function. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), on the other hand, the organs and their functions are considered much more broadly. TCM does not look so much at the physical form and function as at the energetic function of the organs, in connection with the elementary principles of life.
Elemental Principles and the Seasons
Everyone can see and experience the elementary principles of life for themselves. They are visible and palpable in the seasons. Each season carries the character and color of an elementary principle. Each season represents a specific stage of growth and development that I briefly describe below (I go into it in-depth in my book, including practical tips to support you.)
Spring, the Wood element, in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Spring represents a phase where life wants to unfold as it is meant to be. There is a strong urge to develop, to discover, to grow. As a result, there are strong emotions such as frustration and anger, when that fails and blocks the flow of life. For example, it can lead to varying complaints and fatigue due to stagnation. The energy of the liver and gallbladder is connected with this element.
Summer, the Fire element, in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Summer represents abundance and full growth. It is the fire element, connected with the heart and the soul. The heart carries the soul’s desire. This deep desire is often hidden under your (physical and/or emotional) pain. It’s like an inner voice whispering where to go; something that drives you, what animates you, what calls you. The fire element is an important gateway to the Source.
The Source is something you come very deeply into and which brings inspiration, inspiration, Love, and joy as well as deep rest and peace. The organs that resonate with this element are Hart, pericard (the pericardium; the protector of the heart) , small intestine, and an organ function that we do not know in the west: the triple heater.
Late Summer, the Earth Element, in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Late summer is a time of harvest. It is the earth element. Feed and be fed. Process, digest and absorb what is nourishing. It is therefore also connected with enjoyment because enjoying is being nourished in the deepest sense of the word. The earth is the mother of all elements and the principle of the mother.
In some models of element theory, this element is placed in the center of the circle. It is the point of harmony, which is what everything revolves around. The stomach, spleen, and pancreas are connected with this principle. These three together stand for digestion in general. Viewed from Chinese medicine, the spleen energy has a different function than the physical spleen (which has more to do with the immune system).
Autumn, the Metal element, in Traditional Chinese Medicine
In the fall, the tree sheds its leaves. That which has had its time must be finally let go. Life breathes out. Autumn – the metallic element ? is it is the elementary principle of letting go. Things that are no longer nourishing or serving you must be returned to life. When this is done well you experience liberation, detachment, austerity, simplicity. You have let the experiences sink in and take wisdom out of them; the sword of discernment. The process to get there is often accompanied by mourning and grief. Lungs, skin, immune system and large intestine are linked to this principle.
Winter, the water element, in traditional Chinese medicine
In winter, life rests in its roots to gain energy for a new cycle of growth. Growth based on everything that preceded one’s own experiences and experiences of the ancestors. We call this the water element. It is the basis, the bed, beginning and end point of the life cycles. This element is about safety, rest, and recovery, with fear as a negative emotion. The energies of the kidneys and bladder are connected with this element.
Reading the body
The Chinese have put aspects of our bodies in a metaphor, which has the advantage that the larger connection becomes visible. When you start to see the connections and relationships that exist between body, soul, and psyche, you get more handles for therapy, you gain more insight into the how and why many things get a deeper meaning and meaning and you can also do things yourself.
To positively influence your organs and your feelings. For example, sometimes elbow pain can refer to a problem with the lung and colon (autumn, the metal element). In that case, different points on the lung and colon meridians will be sensitive and you will recognize the associated themes. These both run over the arms and elbow.
Energetic and physical
Viewed from the point of view of acupuncture, an organ is therefore an energetic, functional unit that cannot be equated 1 on 1 with the physical organ known to us in the west. For us Westerners, this is confusing because we have learned to think concretely, measurably, and physically. We are then inclined to immediately run to the doctor to have our liver checked if the acupuncturist has found that the liver? energetically – is taxed.
There is then a good chance that the doctor will subsequently find that there is nothing wrong with the liver functions! However, they are definitely related. It has long been known from naturopathy that a long-term energetic disturbance of an organ or system often precedes a physical disturbance or disease of the organ. The diagnosis of the acupuncturist is therefore not pure nonsense, but you must interpret it properly!
Detecting and treating a disturbance in time – in an energetic stage – prevents physical damage. Long-term disturbance of the element or the emotions that are connected to an organ system can therefore cause disruption of the physical organ in the long run. Conversely, a disturbance or disease of the physical organ can have a disruptive influence on other aspects of the element with which the organ is energetically connected.