Brain fog, racing thoughts, attention deficit disorders, PTSD, anxiety, panic attack, sleeplessness, insomnia are related to how specific organs are affected in general and sometimes by stress.
This page does not presume to explain all that is going on in the organs. The internal organs have thousands of functions, most of which we are not even close to fully understanding. This purpose of this page is to explain what is going on the organs from their functional point of view according to Traditional Herbal Theory to at least explain what they do and how they are affected when stressed.
The spleen along with the stomach prepares our food to be received by the body in a form that is useable by the body. Anyone who has experienced Stress and worry can attest this state directly impairs stomach and spleen function producing a very tangible tension in the stomach that can extend to ulcers, boating, bowel problems and so on.
In Traditional Herbal Theory the spleen is the body’s furnace. It produces your heat and the electricity the body uses for its many functions. If this fundamental function is impaired or if the spleen should be overworked one of the first manifestations you will feel coldness (especially in the hands) and tiredness in general with muscle fatigue in particular.
The electricity is the energy that gives us the energy to function. We feel “electrified.” This energy is distributed by the blood to every organ and every organ needs this energy. Should it be lacking every organ’s functions will be affected and weakened in some way.
Should the spleen “cool down” due to being overworked the stomach is immediately affected. Instead of a good and normal digestive process taking place in the stomach a process more resembling fermentation occurs. The vapors and residues from this process rise to the area of the head to produce headaches. Should some of these specific courser vapors rise and condense in the nasal cavity the sinuses will feel stuffy.
The heat from the spleen helps the stomach to better extract the finer “juices” out of the foods. If there is less heat there will consequently be less of these specific “moistures” extracted. One of the first essential bodily fluids manufactured from these “moistures” produced from digestion is blood. Therefore blood volume and blood “quality” can be affected, essential raw materials to produce essential substances like hormones are less abundant, and a very fine substance to maintain the nerves called nerve spirit by Herbalists are less abundant.
Heat is known to radiate from its source. Since stress disproportionately consumes the heat produced by the spleen. With less force this otherwise radiating heat diminishes the circulation to the extremities. Therefore you will feel cold in the extremities and have pallor. Less heat produces subtle constriction of vessels, producing tension. This lessening “radial” force, sometimes called centrifugal in nature permits wastes to stay in the blood this directly affects the pH of the blood. This residual alkalinity is very detrimental to the organism as a whole and produces a number of problems.
Every muscle uses energy in normal motor functions. The Spleen, as the center of power therefore affects all the muscles and their tone. This also includes the uterus and its very fine functions. Therefore the spleen affects female functions very closely.
The blood and the energy it carries produced by the spleen goes directly to the heart after it is extracted by the Stomach and Spleen. It is a well-known axiom among the ancients that the “spirit of the brain goes to the heart and back to the brain.” This means that the faculties we have come to associate exclusively with the brain have more to do with the heart. This point will be disputed by many but not by those whose “heart is still awake.”
When the heart is affected by a general lesser quality of blood which in addition is also lacking in energy you will find yourself unable to think clearly. Any toxin in the blood will, depending on the nature of the toxin, excite, stupefy or otherwise inebriate the faculties. Some toxins thin the blood while others may thicken it. The effect this has on the heart affects the faculties. The brain following the heart’s lead.
There are also certain emotional patterns that within the framework of this knowledge deal directly with the heart, the most common being certain types of obsessions like anorexia and bulimia.
Remember also that the nerves are nourished by what was once called “nerve spirit” extracted by the stomach and spleen from proper foods. The blood flow and the quality of blood itself are directly affected by the stomach and spleen. The blood carries what can best be described as a balanced electromagnetic fluid through which all organs are maintained. Should this composition be off in someone having a particular disposition this can produce palpitations (tachycardia).
In addition to all this, should there be food fermenting in the stomach it will produce vapors that may condense and accumulate within the pericardium. Its slight increase in size is enough to crowd the lungs resulting in the volume of breathing feeling restricted yet not impaired, possibly producing mild to severe pains in the chest and between the shoulder blades. This further draws a connection between the digestion and the heart.
The kidneys are the final recipients of the extracted energy from food and breathing. They accumulate this energy and store it like a battery. For this reason the area of the solar plexus, which is in front of the kidneys is considered a vital area of the body. Should this accumulating capacity be impaired we can also feel tired or possibly exceedingly cold, especially in the feet.
Being the final organ in the digestive cycle the kidneys also are the recipients of any toxic chemicals that might have been ingested, which they are weakened by. There are three main filters in the body, the liver, the kidneys and the lungs. Whatever bypasses the liver, enters the kidneys, whatever bypasses the kidneys enters the lungs.
The kidneys are also the center of fear. Anxiety and related panic disorders are in reality nothing more than a fear. This will therefore further affect the kidneys and through them also the heart. It should be remembered that the kidneys and the heart work very closely in a mutual regulatory manner. whatever affects the kidneys also will affect the heart.
Fear triggers the adrenal glands which are just above the kidneys and must therefore affect the kidneys. Adrenal function becomes strained by this fear component of stress producing a constant “fight or flight” condition. In time this exhausts the adrenals producing an even “deeper” tiredness. At this point many take stimulants for their tiredness believing that the stimulants will produce more energy. In realty stimulants do not contain any energy therefore they cannot produce it. What they can do is make the body use up its own energy, which is stored in the kidneys, even faster. When a stimulant wears off an even greater fatigue is experienced. At some point the body reaches a point of “burn out” which is very dangerous.
It is wiser to support the organ that produces the energy (Spleen) rather than deplete the organ that stores the energy (Kidney).
The kidneys also maintain and manage the moisture of the entire body and may have too much or too little due to the spleens over or underproduction.
The kidneys also serve in an essential role in maintaining the nerves and brain itself and with it the brain and spinal fluid. Clearly by maintaining the brain and spinal fluid balanced will affect brain function. This too directly impacts the mental faculty. When this function is impaired serious problems may arise.
It is said that the kidneys being the final recipient and “storage depot” of the combined energy taken from the food and the air, that it holds this “energy down.” Should the kidneys find themselves in a weakened state they may not perform this “holding down” function with the life force energy that they accumulate, it can go upwards into the lungs. When this happens it is common to become short of breath or become aware of shallow breathing. Also, the sinuses may feel stuffy, asthma, or coughing may occur.
The thyroid is often blamed for symptoms actually brought about by a spleen deficiency. Even though in tests thyroid hormones appear to be out of proportion.
The thyroid functions using the energy that the spleen produces. Its purpose is very much like a capacitor in an electrical circuit. It absorbs electricity and at a certain point predetermined by the capacity of the capacitor – releases it. This is normally done at a very regular interval and establishes the metabolism of the body. If there is too little energy to work with the thyroid actually has to work much harder to keep the metabolism constant. This overworking of the thyroid creates a depletion of the thyroid – which appears by conventional wisdom as a thyroid problem. If the available energy is increased to normal functioning levels the thyroid can relax at its normal working pace and thyroid hormone levels balance out. (This does not apply with goiter.)