If you were to take the line representing the electromagnetic spectrum and stretch it from San Francisco to Washington, DC, the area of visible light would only be about two feet wide. So there is a lot of information out there that we just can’t see. But if we could expand that capacity by just a few more feet, we would see all kinds of things and perceive all kinds of information that we are currently blind to.
How does this concept relate to wellness? Well, when looking at the human body, the tendency is just to look at the physical structure and function. But by also looking at energy and emotion in conjunction with function, we can get more information, similar to expanding our view of the spectrum of visible light. This additional information allows us to make better decisions faster and improve quality of life.
As a key component of health, it’s even more critical that we look at the digestive system from this perspective of holistic wellness. And since energy leads and the rest of the body follows, it is helpful to first explain the energy of the digestive system.
Energy and digestion
Traditional Chinese Medicine has to do with the understanding of channels and points. The points, called acupuncture points, are organized along these channels. Each of the channels is named after the interior organ to which it is most closely connected.
There are also trigger points called Mu Shu points that are associated with acupuncture points. These points will become tender when the associated internal organs become compromised. The trigger points on the front of the body are called Front Mu, and the ones on the back are called Back Shu.
Several meridians and their associated Mu Shu points are included in the digestive system. They are:
- Lung meridian
- Stomach meridian
- Liver meridian
- Spleen meridian
- Gallbladder meridian
- Small intestine meridian
- Large intestine meridian
All meridians have a pair. For example, the stomach meridian is paired with the spleen meridian. In addition to organs, meridian pairs also have an energetic connection to specific teeth odonton—which includes the tooth and its surrounding environment—as well as to specific emotions. Looking at these meridian pairs and their associated Mu Shu points, organs, teeth, vertebrae, and emotions can provide us with more information so we can make better decisions when it comes to digestive health.
Stomach and Spleen Meridians
Organs: Stomach, Spleen, Pancreas
Mu Shu Points: CV12, UB21, LV13, UB20
Teeth: T2, T3, T14, T15, T20, T21, T28, T29
Vertebrae: C4, T6, T7, T8
Emotions: Pensiveness, Despondency
The channel most closely connected to the stomach is called the Stomach Meridian. This starts below the eye and circles around the side of the face, down the front of the body, and ends up on the toe. Three Mu Shu points, one just above the stomach and the other two on the sides of the 12th thoracic vertebra—are associated with the stomach meridian.
The Stomach Meridian is paired with the Spleen Meridian, which is most closely associated to the pancreas. The spleen meridian starts inside at the big toe and runs on the inner side of the leg, through the pubic bone, and inside the abdominal cavity before connecting with the spleen and the Heart Meridian. The Mu Shu points for the spine are on the lateral side of the abdomen and below the 11th thoracic vertebra.
The emotion associated with this meridian pair is pensiveness, or despondency. Pensiveness means you are in serious thought or reflection, and despondency is having low spirits and being somewhat depressed. This pair is also energetically connected to the back two molars on each side of the top row of teeth, the front two molars on each side of the bottom row of teeth, 3 thoracic vertebrae, and the fourth cervical vertebrae. So along with the meridians and Mu Shu points, these are some additional areas and feelings to pay attention to when looking at the overall health of the stomach, spleen, and pancreas.
Liver and Gallbladder Meridians
Organs: Liver, Gallbladder
Mu Shu Points: GB24, UB19, LV14, UB18
Teeth: T6, T11, T22, T27
Vertebrae: C1, TH4, TH5
Emotions: Anger, Frustration
The liver and gallbladder are associated with the Liver and Gallbladder Meridian pair. The Liver Meridian begins at the inside of the big toenail, then passes over the foot, inside the ankle, and up the inner leg. It then passes the inner thigh and groin before entering the liver and gallbladder. The Mu Shu points associated with the gallbladder are located below the nipple and below the 10th thoracic vertebra.
The Gallbladder Meridian begins on the outside of the eye and zig-zags as it moves down the head and torso. It then goes down the side of the outer leg and ends at the fourth toenail.
The liver is associated with the emotion of anger, and the gallbladder is associated to frustration. It’s interesting to note how similar these emotions are, as both encompass feelings of annoyance and irritation.
In addition, this meridian pair is energetically connected to the 4 cuspid teeth, the first cervical vertebra, and the fourth and fifth thoracic vertebrae. So again, when looking at the gallbladder and liver, you should also be aware of the state of these 4 teeth and vertebrae and their associated emotions.
Small Intestine Meridian
Organs: Small intestine
Mu Shu Points: CV4, UB27
Teeth: T1, T16, T17, T32
Vertebrae: C2, TH1, TH2, TH12
The Small Intestine Meridian begins at the tip of the pinky finger, then runs up the side of the arm and meets the back shoulder. It then goes to the bottom of the neck, then across the neck and cheek, ending at the outer portion of the eye. The Mu Shu points connected to the Small Intestine Meridian are located in the middle of the abdomen and at the middle of the first sacrum, a bone at the base of the spine.
The Small Intestine Meridian is paired with the Heart Meridian. But as the heart is not considered part of the digestion system, we will just focus on the small intestine when looking at this part of the digestive system.
The emotion that’s associated to the small intestine is joy. Now, you might say, “Well, joy is a good emotion. How can joy be a problem for my small intestine?” Well, emotions are designed to be experienced, but not all the time. So just like an excess amount of sadness can be problematic, an excess of joy can be also.
Then we have the teeth that are energetically connected to the Small Intestine Meridian, and they are the 4 wisdom teeth. And since we are talking about the odonton, this connection is still there even if your wisdom teeth have been removed. Three thoracic vertebrae and the second cervical vertebra are connected to the Small Intestine Meridian as well.
Large Intestine and Lung Meridian
Organs: Liver, Gallbladder
Mu Shu Points: UB25, ST25, LU1, UB13
Teeth: T4, T5, T12, T13, T18, T19, T30, T31
Vertebrae: CYX, L1, L2, L4, TH3, C5, C6, C7
The Large Intestine Meridian begins at the outside tip of the index fingernail and extends up the edge of this finger and up the outer edge of the arm until it reaches the elbow. It then goes around the shoulder, up the side of the neck and cheek, and then goes through the lower gums and top lip before ending at the nostril. There are 4 Mu Shu points for the large intestine, two below the fourth lumbar vertebra and one on either side of the umbilicus.
The Lung Meridian, the Large Intestine’s sister meridian, begins at the solar plexus and extends past the stomach, passing through the diaphragm before reaching the lungs. From here, it passes up the windpipe, then to the front of the shoulder, then extends down the forearm before ending at the corner of the thumbnail. The Mu Shu points connected to the lung are below the third thoracic vertebra and just below the clavicle.
The emotion most closely associated with this meridian pair is grief. There are also about 500 trillion microbes that cohabitate with us in our bodies, and most of them are in the large intestine. These microbes have a significant impact on our mood and emotions as well. The vagus nerve moves from the brain down to the body and involves the gut. The microbes will stimulate the vagus nerve, and that stimulation will cause us to feel better. So healthy microbes make us feel better. They also produce some of the neurotransmitters that impact mood.
The teeth that are connected to this meridian pair are the back two molars on bottom and first and second molars on top. Three cervical vertebrae, 3 lumbar vertebrae, the coccyx, and the third thoracic vertebrae are also energetically connected to this pair.
Digestive health: Looking at the whole picture
As you familiarize yourself with these meridians and their associated organs, teeth, vertebrae, and emotions, you can see that what we’re looking at here is a vectored approach to digestive health. But it’s actually a circuitous approach. Here’s this circle of problems that can occur with the stomach, for example, but it isn’t necessarily the stomach: it could be the tooth, it could be the back, or it could be something else along that meridian.
As an example, on the points of the large intestine, sometimes I’ve had people come in with chronic low back problems. The L4 is the location of the Back Shu point. That area may have a propensity to slip out or subluxate not because it’s weak, but because there’s something going on in the large intestine. So a chronic low back problem may be the result of an allergy problem.
Another example is that if you have a propensity to be pensive or somewhat depressed, that can be an indication that there’s an issue with the pancreas or spleen or the stomach. And the opposite is true: if you have a functional issue with the pancreas, spleen, or stomach, it may cause you to be pensive or despondent. Or, an issue with the pancreas may cause a tooth connected to it to weaken and develop a cavity.
So if you look at all those pieces and consider what may be affecting something else on a meridian pair, you may discover that a digestion problem may not be a digestion problem. It may be an energetic problem, or it may be an emotional problem. All of those things will play into health and quality of life.
General tips for digestive & holistic wellness
When we consider our triad of health when it comes to the digestive system, there are some general things we should always pay attention to:
- Energetically, things like meditation and acupuncture can help keep us balanced so that our digestive system runs smoothly.
- Functionally, we know that getting enough water, exercise, and sleep is beneficial for digestion, not to mention eating a healthy diet and adding nutritional supplements to compensate for dietary deficiencies.
- And lastly, we can’t forget about the significant impact that emotions have on our digestion and our overall wellness. Being mindful of emotions and how they relate can often be the key to solving a digestive issue.
ZYTO biocommunication supports these 3 areas of health. With ZYTO, we can scan digital signatures representing all of these stressors and determine the top supplements and oils to help bring them back into balance. And with perception reframing, we can address the emotions tied to digestion that may be preventing us from feeling well.
About Dr. Cook
Dr. Vaughn R Cook is the Founder & CEO of ZYTO. An Oriental Medical Doctor (OMD) and licensed acupuncturist, he has worked in the complementary and alternative medical field for more than 30 years, specializing in applications that integrate Western and Eastern medicine.