The stomach is the Yang energy organ of the Earth Element with the Spleen being its paired Yin counterpart. Governed by Earth energy, which is represented by the a deep Yellow colour, the stomach is responsible for extracting and balancing all Five Elemental Energies from foods and fluids ingested through the mouth. Its hours of maximum activity are 7am-9am, which is why in it is important to “Breakfast like a King” because this is when the stomach is at peak performance.
Any imbalance of energy of the stomach results in an immediate deficiency or reaction the nourishing energy channeled from the stomach to other organs. The stomach is called the ‘Minister of the Mill’ and is also known as the ‘Sea of Nourishment’.
The emotional aspects of Stomach energy influence on the mental state so an imbalance of Qi can disturb the mind and in excess may cause mental symptoms such as mania or bipolar disorder, confusion, severe anxiety, and hyperactivity.
In addition to digesting bulk foods and fluids and moving them onwards to the small intestine for extraction and assimilation of nutrients, the stomach also extracts pure postnatal energy from foods and fluids, and in coordination with spleen energy it transports this food energy through the meridian system to the lungs, where it combines with air energy from breathing.
Because it is responsible for providing the entire system with postnatal energy from the digestion of food and fluids, it is regarded as the ‘Root of Postnatal Life’. Its Physical Branches are the muscles, lips, mouth and saliva. This function of absorption of postnatal energy by the stomach is not acknowledged in Western medicine, which focuses only on the biochemistry of digestion and does not recognize the bioenergetic aspect.