The Large Intestine is the Yang Metal organ which governs final separation whilst the lung is the Yin Metal organ paired to it. The emotions connected with the large intestine are those of sadness, loss, guilt, emotional and mental stagnation grief and the inability to flow with life. The element metal colours of this organ are white and grey or silver and it is associated with the autumn season with the time of its peak activity is between the hours of 5am – 7am.
The function of metal is that of providing a sense of boundary and routine and a key theme is harvesting the fruits of the expansive summer and storing up for cold winter to come. It is a transformative process from life to death and as the journey turns inward and becomes heavier the energy moves down, back towards the earth.
The work of the large intestine is to remove substances the body no longer needs on a physical level by separating the pure from the impure and extract liquids from the matter so that it can be released as a solid mass. It also does a final sort of what is not useful on an emotional level from old feelings to self image. People with large intestine imbalance often hold onto old stuff, feel regret and are rigid, tend towards perfectionist and think that no one and nothing is good enough. At times of intense emotions such as grief, the bowel movement may become irregular resulting in constipation or diarrhea. To restore balance action must be taken that unblocks stagnation, increases flexibility, movement and change.
The emotion of sadness for the passing of the summer and approaching winter and a sense of sorrow for the loss of the long sunny days, the lung meridian allows us to feel the grief but also to move on, take what we need and release the rest. The dynamic created by the lung and large intestine teaches us that life is a cycle of taking in and letting go and transformation.