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the-spleenI have recently been asked by several energy medicine students to clarify the difference between the meridian energy, which governs an organ, and the metabolic function of the organ itself.

For instance, in Eden Energy Medicine we talk a lot about how one of spleen meridian’s primary tasks is the metabolization of energy – but metabolization is not the primary task of the spleen organ. In order for energy medicine to continue to gain traction in the mainstream, it’s vital that EEM practitioners understand the difference between the function of the meridian energy and the physical organ after which the meridian is named, and to be able to dialogue knowledgeably with the medical community.

In Chinese medicine, what we know as the “spleen meridian” governs both the spleen and pancreas organs. Since we generally refer to the meridian channel as simply “spleen”, the pancreas’ inclusion is too oft forgot. The pancreas organ is part of the digestive system as well as being an endocrine gland, which produces enzymes and hormones (like insulin and glucagon) that help to break down foods. This metabolic function of the pancreas is the physiological correlation with the meridian’s energetic function of metabolization.

On the other hand, the spleen organ is responsible for filtering and purifying the blood, as well as the creation of red blood cells and the storage of both red and white blood cells. This physiological function of the spleen organ is the correlation with the meridian’s energetic function associated with the lymphatic system and immunity.

Spleen meridian governs both the spleen and pancreas organs.

acupuncturespleenmeridianEnergetically speaking, the spleen/pancreas meridian metabolizes energies that we come into contact with – both through our environment and through what we consume.  Physically speaking, the spleen organ does not metabolize anything – that responsibility belongs to her sister organ, the pancreas. So if we say (in “energy-medicine speak”) to a medical professional that “spleen metabolizes energy”, it won’t correlate with their understanding of the function of the physical organ, and we risk sounding like we don’t know what we’re talking about.

But if we say that the energy of spleen meridian governs both the spleen and pancreas organs, and as such is engaged in both metabolization and immune function – I think we can help to bridge the gap between western medicine and energy medicine.