Is it just Americans that are crazy enough to have a tradition that revolves around eating until you are stuffed?
I received a Thanksgiving card in the mail last week that said: “Gobble til you Wobble!”
Well, it’s definitely that time of the year. Eating with family and friends during the holidays is inevitable. Stuffing oneself is a choice. Even though I try to make a commitment before the weekend that I won’t overeat, somehow I always forget–and so do my patients!
Plan on seeing a lot of patients who are coming in through the end of the year with excess in the Spleen channel. From a TCM perspective, if the Spleen channel is naturally deficient, and the patient is showing signs of Spleen Damp, then the graph will look like this.
Here’s what AcuGraph has to say about excess in the Spleen channel:
Spleen (Excessive)The Spleen Meridian works in conjunction with the Stomach Meridian to assimilate energy from food through digestion. The Spleen Meridian also affects the pancreas, blood formation, hormones, and saliva. It nourishes the lips and tongue, and controls the muscles and the four limbs.Your Spleen Meridian energy is excessive. Excessive energy in this meridian may be associated with the following symptoms:
- Bloating, gas, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, colic, distention and pain in the abdomen;
- Chest congestion, phlegm;
- Difficult urination, thick vaginal discharge, menstrual disorders, genital disorders;
- Heaviness in the body, weakness of the muscles and limbs;
- Cramping, pain, swelling or stiffness of the inner leg, genitals, ribs or mid-back.Emotions: An imbalance in the Spleen Meridian may be associated with obsessive feelings, over thinking and worry.
Sometimes treating Spleen excess can be a little more difficult. In my experience, treating one point doesn’t always work.
1. Balance the Graph
The traditional sedation point for the Spleen channel is Spleen 5. Spleen 5 works great but my personal favorite point is Spleen 8. Spleen 8 is the Xi-Cleft point for the channel and I find it works really well for Spleen excess. If your patient has extremely stubborn Spleen excess, then I’d suggest treating Spleen 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Once you put the graph into balance, the body will work at its maximum capacity to eliminate the negative symptoms and side effects. Our body has the amazing ability to heal itself. The channels were made to flow freely. My experience has been that if you balance the graph, the channels will again flow freely, and 80% of the symptoms resolve on their own.
Extra points you may want to add after you balance the graph will depend on the symptoms.
- To strengthen the Spleen: Spleen 6, Stomach 36, and Conception Vessel 12
- For constipation: Stomach 25 and Stomach 37
- For indigestion: Stomach 44
2. Dietary Recommendations
Did you know that AcuGraph 5 has the ability to print out a dietary grocery list for your patient? Pick the pattern or patterns that would be most helpful for your patient and print it out. Your patient will be so impressed. It’s amazing how much more effective your treatment will be if your patient adds the right food to their diet from home. Patterns you might consider include:
- Spleen Qi Deficiency
- Spleen Damp
- Spleen Damp / Cold
- Spleen Damp / Heat
- Stomach Food Stagnation
It’s really easy. Click on a graph, click on a channel, then choose the pattern. The symptoms related to that pattern are listed.
One of the best herbal formulas for food stagnation that I have found is–206 SP—Bao He Pian. If a patient has a Spleen that is already weak, and then they add a “Gobble til you Wobble” holiday weekend into the mix, then this formula is really helpful.
Okay folks, ready or not, the holiday season is officially here. If you find patients who choose to “Gobble til they Wobble,” you have all of the tools necessary to get them back on track. I hope that your holiday season is filled with not only good food–but also includes great times with family and friends.
Talk to ya soon,
Acupuncture Research Analyst