In Part 1 we discussed how fibromyalgia can be seen as a disease of misshapen red cells. These red cells then fail to nourish and cause pain when they get stuck.
The primary organ involved in blood production and quality control is the spleen.
The spleen is intimately associated with the stomach, and most importantly the pancreas (just visible as thin line under stomach in picture above). In Chinese medicine the spleen governs our digestion and it does this through the hormone serotonin (see The Spark In The Machine for more on this).
By governing our digestion it governs how much, and the quality of, nutrition we absorb. This nutrition is what we use to create blood.
The spleen also filters out the red cells in the blood that are defective and brittle. In doing this it ensures that the blood can flow smoothly.
So, the spleen and blood are intimately connected: it controls digestion to provide the raw materials for blood's birth, then decides when to retire the red cells at the end of their life. It should be little surprise then, that in fibromyalgia, the organ that is most often seen out of balance by Chinese physicians is the spleen.
In part 3:
The Spleen and Dampness
If you suffer from fibromyalgia and would like to discuss how Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help you please contact Dr Keown here