Spleen 3 or Tai Bai, a major tonifying point for the spleen, is an easy point to find. It is also called a Yuan source point because the Qi comes to the surface. It is at the head of the 1st metatarsal bone in a depression where your skin changes from red to white.
In a previous blog on GV20, I wrote about the liver, or the “general”, and how it is responsible for regulating the flow of qi throughout the body. This organ also aids in the metabolism of water, passes bile into the small intestine and transports the essence of food. If the livers ability to drain and course energy of the body properly is constrained, organs such as the stomach and the spleen, that rely on the general to assist, are affected.
The spleen extracts and raises the qi from the food and beverages we ingest. It also transforms dampness. What remains is then sent downward by the stomach. The stomach tends towards dry even though it likes a little damp and the spleen is often on the damp side even though it prefers dryness. The two organs work closely together to help keep each other in balance. If there is proper absorption of nutrition from our daily diet, our food turns into a refined essence. If too many damp producing foods are consumed, such as dairy products, the spleen can have difficulty transforming the damp, causing the clear yang qi that should be ascending to stagnate or sink down. This can cause a deficiency in the spleen, causing undigested food in the stool and heaviness of the body.
In TCM it is said that our ideas and thought processes come from the spleen. The failure of yang qi to rise can cause cloudiness of the mind. It can also bring about over thinking and worry which is a common side effect of stagnant spleen qi.
Spleen 3 is a wonderful point to tonify the spleen and stimulate the spleens ability to raise the clear energy. It also harmonizes the relationship between the stomach and the spleen and helps dispel damp. When I start to worry, or overanalyze my every decision, I like to pay attention to this point.
I also use Spleen 3 along with Liver 8 and GV20 when I have:
Difficulty rising from bed accompanied by a slight depression
Stop and go fatigue during the day preceded or followed by dips in confidence
Sudden lack of direction
Feeling of weakness
Shoulder pain or tightness
Withholding below and under ribcage
Check out my blog on Rosemary. This well known essential oil works great in combination with Spleen 3 to help raise yang Qi up.
Heiner Fruehauf, “The Five Organs of Chinese Medicine,” ITM Online, http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm