Stomach Meridian Functions:
The stomach is one of the longest meridians, with 45 points. The Stomach is the Yang partner of the Yin Spleen. The stomach is called the ‘Minister of the Mill’, the ‘Sea of Nourishment’, and the ‘Root of Postnatal Life’, because it is responsible for providing the entire body with energy from the digestion of food and fluids. In addition to digesting foods and liquids and moving them to the small intestine for extraction and assimilation, the stomach also has an important energetic job. It extracts energy from foods and fluids, and coordinates with spleen to transport that energy to the lungs. There it combines with Qi from the air we breathe. Any dysfunction of the stomach creates immediate imbalance in the other organs.
The stomach meridian is associated with our ability to assimilate new ideas, absorb information, as well as honoring and nurturing the self. We receive subtle energy from the universe through our food through the stomach. Thus it is an important receiving organ of universal information into our bodies. This energy is then passed on to the small intestine meridian where it is carefully sorted – do we keep it or do we let it go?
Digestion is a Highly-Tuned Enzymatic Process Using Neuro-receptors and the Brain.
Digestion of carbs begins in the mouth with Amylase enzyme. After chewing well, we swallow, and the food enters the stomach, where protein digestion begins. The mucosal lining of the stomach secretes pepsin and hydrochloric acid to destroy microbes and break down proteins. Amazingly, the stomach uses neural ‘taste’ receptors to recognize sugars, carbs, proteins, and fats via the hypothalamus, limbic brain, and vagus nerve, which allow it to allocate digestive enzymes in the proper amounts for the incoming food. The stomach churns and releases the acidic paste called chyme into the small intestine.
Stomach Consciousness Issues:
Digestion of food, Digestion of life and people, Receiving, Assimilation, Critical, Gullible, Intolerance, Rejection, Worry, Thinking, Confusion, Conscious Mind, Nurturing, Feeding, Nourishment, Strength, Groundedness, Stability, Mania, Open-Mindedness.
Common Signs of Stomach Meridian Imbalance
The Stomach meridian also has a vital role in our mental state. Imbalance can cause anxiety, confusion, hyperactivity, depression, instability, doubt, suspicions, mania, suicidal tendencies, slowness at assimilating ideas, and some types of ADD.
A stomach meridian imbalance may involve emotional factors such as: Holding nourishment, Digesting ideas, Dread, Fear of the new, Inability to assimilate the new, Over-sympathetic nervous system, Over importance of self, Egotistic, Despair, feeling stifled. Mental signs of Stomach channel disorders include depression, death wishes, instability, suicidal tendencies, mentally overwrought, doubt, suspicions, tendency to mania, and slowness at assimilating ideas.
Stomach’s Best Friends:
Chew your food 50 – 100 times, Relax when eating. Chewing food very well stimulates body juices and gives a running start to the stomach. Prepare food with love. Then enjoy eating it. Food combining i.e. separating carbs & proteins at same meal.
Eat a high protein nourishing breakfast, because 7 – 9am is peak stomach time, when the body is most efficient digesting proteins. Relax at mealtimes, and never eat on the run. Digestive enzymes can be effective temporarily, but best to be avoided long-term. Mercury metal fillings damage the stomach lining, so the removal of fillings accompanied by a mercury detox program may be highly beneficial.
Stomach’s Worst Enemies:
Worry, Over-Thinking, Anxiety, Eating while multi-tasking. Avoid smoking, caffeine, alcohol, soft drinks, aspirin, ibuprofen, pharmaceuticals, and pain medications. Avoid wheat and gluten, Avoid overeating, never lie down after meals, and avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. Avoid diluting food with drink during meals. Instead drink between meals. Anger, frustration and resentment affect the Stomach indirectly through Liver Qi Stagnation which invades the Stomach. Hence, never eat when you are angry.
Key Stomach Points to Massage:
ST-36 also called Zu San Li, or “leg three miles”, meaning it can greatly strengthen energy, so that a person can walk another three miles, even when exhausted. This boosts the immune system, strengthens overall energy, builds weak digestion, resolves digestive disorders such as constipation, gas, diarrhea, GERD, bloating, vomiting, nausea. Also good for PMS, depression, nervousness, insomnia, PMS. Avoid use of this point if you are pregnant.
Stomach Meridian Source Point is ST-42, Chongyang, “Surging Yang” on the foot. Stimulating this point can clear heat from the Stomach channel, harmonize the Stomach organ, calm the spirit, activate the channel, and heal pain.
This point can also be used to treat gastric pain, abdominal distention, swelling and pain of the dorsum (top) of the foot, local point for foot pain, swelling, redness, muscular atrophy and foot motor impairment.
Use this point to alleviate issues on the upper end of the channel (i.e. mouth/face/head) – upper mouth/teeth issues, swelling of the face, toothache, pain of the upper teeth, facial paralysis, toothache, deviation of the face as in Bell’s palsy or stroke.
Each organ meridian has a Source Point, located near the ankle or wrist. Source points are the point that most closely exemplifies the energy of the entire meridian. Source points are very important in treating diseases of the internal organs. That is because these points are the sites where the Yuan Qi (Primary Qi) of the Zang-Fu organs passes and stays. Stimulating the Yuan-Source points activates the vital energy of the organ meridians, regulates and reinforces its functions.
To Balance the Stomach Meridian:
Set a clear intention to build health and wellness. Start at ST-1 just under mid-point of eye on rim of socket, downward to level of nostril. Continue down diagonally inward to GV26 just below the nose, out to the corner of the mouth, and then inward to CV23 just below the mouth. Trace out along the lower jaw and upward in front of the ear to ST-8 inside the hairline, and inward to the center of the cranium.
Continue tracing through the brain down to ST-9 on neck, down to clavicle and outward, tracing down chest through nipple to just below, then straight down the torso through the stomach area, down to groin crease. Trace diagonally outward to thigh and down front of leg, knee, to a zigzag in lower leg. Continue directly down through ankle following the foot tendons, ending on the outside of 2nd toe at ST-45.
To Clear the Stomach Meridian:
Set a clear intention to build health and wellness. Trace backwards once, starting at the 2nd toe, up the front of the leg to the groin, up the suspenders to the clavicle, up the neck. Continue up to the top of the head, down in front of the ear, inward across jaw, around the mouth to just under the eye. Trace both sides together or one at a time. Then trace forward 3 times as indicated above, both sides at the same time or one after the other.
“If the Stomach is strong, life will be healthy. If the Stomach is weak, life will be unhealthy.” 16th century physician Yu Jia Yan