The Yang Stomach meridian works closely together with its Yin paired meridian of the Spleen, as well as with the Large Intestines, to protect against illnesses.
Every full moon in Gemini will affect this meridian, opening up a window of opportunity to more deeply balance this meridian, but also opening up a time where we might feel its imbalances most. These windows last from approximately a week before to 4-5 days after – some people will be more sensitive to it and experience a longer period of being affected.
In TCM, the Stomach is called names such as “the Minister of the Mill”, the “Sea of Nourishment” or the “Root of Postnatal Life”, because it is responsible for providing the entire human body with energy coming from the digestion of food and fluids.
In addition to digesting food and liquids and moving them to the small intestines for extraction and assimilation of nutrients, the stomach also has an important energetic job. It extracts energy from foods and fluids, and coordinates with the spleen to transport that energy to the lungs. In the lungs, this energy combines with Qi energy (Prana) from the air that we breathe.
Any dysfunction of the stomach immediately results in imbalances in the other organs.
However, as the stomach is the strongest organ, it can take a long time for disease to show up.
The stomach meridian is associated with our ability to assimilate new ideas, absorb information, as well as our ability to honour and nurture ourselves. As we receive subtle energy from the universe through the food we take in, the stomach is also an important organ to receive universal information into our bodies. This energy is then passed on to the small intestine meridian where it is carefully sorted – do we keep/absorb it, or do we let it go and eliminate it? (think of phrases in English like: “I can’t stomach this (information, emotion,…) now”, etc.)
Furthermore, the stomach is also the base for our emotional stability and the place where we sense emotion. In the same vein, the stomach meridian plays a vital role in our mental state, and imbalances in this meridian can cause many types of mental disturbances (see the list of symptoms further below).
Beginning at the side of the nose, the Stomach meridian rises to the corner of the eye (where it connects to the Urinary Bladder meridian) before descending along the side of the nose, to enter the upper gum, and follow the outer lips to the lower jaw, toward the joint of the jaw.
Here it branches, with one branch ascending again along the front of the ear to the forehead. The other branch descends through the body to the diaphragm and runs to the stomach (the organ) and spleen.
A third branch emerges from the lower jaw and runs across the outside of the body, crossing the chest and belly, until it terminates in the groin. The second branch, that runs through the stomach, reconnects here with this third branch and then as one line they run downward along the front of the leg down to the top of the foot, where there is another split. The main branch ends in the outside (lateral) tip of the second toe. The second branch reaches the inner (medial) side of the big toe, where it meets the Spleen meridian.
Just below the knee, yet an additional branch also split off, to run to the lateral side of the third toe.
Symptoms of an interrupted flow of the stomach meridian:
- digestive problems: bloating, vomiting
- stuffy nose / sinusitis
- neck / arm / shoulder pain
- dry mouth
- anxiety, fear, dread
- confusion; being overcritical or gullible
- deep sadness and even despair
- feeling stifled
- hyperactivity & overactive sympathetic nervous system
- some types of ADD
- suicidal tendencies & death wishes
- addictive behaviour
- egotistical-ness & a sense of over-importance of the self
- slowness at assimilating new ideas
- pain in any of the areas the meridian passes through (mouth, nose, teeth, gums, …)
- Eat yellow/orange foods like corn, squash, mango, banana, sweet potato, papaya, cantaloupe.
- Wear yellow clothes and carry or wear yellow stones like Amber, Sunstone, Citrine, Yellow Jade, Yellow Mookaite, Tiger Eye and Yellow Tourmaline. Other helpful stones (of which you can also use malas – see my webshop for a wide variety of choices) are the other colours of Mookaite, Bloodstone, Goldstone, Rhodonite, Amethyst, all Agates, all other Tourmalines, …
- irregular meals
- quick eating
- wheat & gluten
- food that is either too hot or too cold
- coffee & caffeine
- soft drinks
- drinking with your meals (drink between meals instead)
- aspirin, ibuprofen, pharmaceuticals and pain medication
- eating while multi-tasking
- eating before going to sleep or even lying down after meals
- eating when angry
Chinese remedy Po Chai works on relieving both stomach and virus symptoms.
- Yoga mudra is an excellent posture for balancing this meridian. 3-11 minutes (hands are in Venus lock (interlaced), and you just lift up the arms as high as they can go – it might look nothing like the picture for you and they might only be lifted slightly – don’t worry, that’s okay).
- Mulbandh (root lock)
Sitting in Rock Pose (sitting on the heels)
- Any chanting with HAR at the navel
- Fish Pose with long deep breathing
- Bow pose and rocking in bow while chanting SA TA NA MA.
Expanded from information on www.breathislife.com & www.fiveseasonsmedicine.com .