The Small Intestine is known as the Separator of Pure from Impure. It is the brother official of the Heart. It acts as a secretary by filtering out all the unnecessary trivia. Joy blossoms from our ability to release anything impure and hold onto only the pure essence. The Small Intestine is known for sorting, setting priorities, problem solving, discriminating, transforming matter, distinguishing the gross and subtle and assimilating. Some of the classic texts refer the Small Intestine as the Alchemist. The Small Intestine assimilates from the outside world to the inside world. It literally separates them murky from the clear, keeping and transforming riches for use by the Sovereign and therefore, by the whole. By virtue of being Separator for the Heart, the Small Intestine does not become polluted. The essence of the Small Intestine is in the transformation of Qi.
The physical organ sorts nutrients and vital substances from the food digested by the Stomach, which is absorbed by the gut and distributed to the body. It identifies and retains only pure Qi on the levels of body, mind and spirit. The Small Intestine needs to discriminate where warmth comes from whereas the Pericardium and the Triple Heater will take warmth from anywhere. The Small Intestine is more discriminatory because of its desire for purity. This official separates out chyme, which is the gastric juice and undigested food, absorbing the pure for the well-being of body mind and spirit and releasing the impure. Purity is mainly absorbed by the blood and impurities are sent to the Large Intestine. We can't get nutrients from the healthiest foods unless the Small Intestine is doing its job of absorbing. A healthy Small Intestine can even take the pure from unhealthy foods.
Mentally and spiritually, there's a lot of input, the Small Intestine helps us to separate out what we can make use of and what we do not need. This includes input from the news and media. It shares this role with the Large Intestine, which lets us let go. When we think about the Small Intestine as the Alchemist, we can refer to the type of cleansing that happens with fire burning. Ash is considered pure substance and is the product of fire. Our spirit has to be kept pure. The strength of the Small Intestine is providing us with great clarity and discrimination, which leads us to truth. The Small Intestine helps with discrimination on all levels, requiring a certain amount of maturity, which is the power of the Fire Element. We are able to discriminate between appropriate levels of relationships. The Small Intestine gives us a quick agile mind, sorting ideas and information. The Small Intestine sees the good in people and situations. Through this transformation, the Small Intestine gives us the ability to be optimistic and not get bogged down by the negative. The Small Intestine in balance will find goodness in the worst of scenarios. The Small Intestine has an effect on the ears and our ability to sort out sounds. Listening palace, Small Intestine 19 it Is located just in front of the tragus. The outer ear is governed by the Small Intestine. When out of balance we may see clients not listening to themselves or to others.
There is no physical God, which means what we have is within. The Small Intestine needs to be functioning optimally to separate the pure so that we can see clearly. The Small Intestine keeps the body, mind and spirit pure. The Small Intestine has a direct relationship to the Gall Bladder which needs purity. Small Intestine sorts out which judgments and decisions are to be made. If the Small Intestine doesn't separate and provide purity, decisions made by the Gall Bladder can be tainted. The Nei Jing says that the Small Intestine is responsible for receiving and making things thrive, transforming substances and containing the most fullness. When the Gall Bladder receives pure energy, it’s decisions will be pure for the whole of the being.
JR writes, “Within our everyday existence and our simple relationships with each other, exists the essence of the Tao. If we are balanced strong and health in our spirit, we may be able to perceive it by the grace of the work of this Official.”
When the Small Intestine is out of balance, we may experience pollution on any level. This might look like coagulation, thickness, boils, digestive issues, boboygmus, separation of self from others, sexual perversions and confusion. Neil Gumenick states, “No Official could work properly if impurity was left to fester. Wasteful substances tend to coalesce in the body, causing swelling, inflammation, restricted movement and pain.” Toxins circulating through the system for any length of time can cause a breakdown of the organs and Officials. Joint inflammation and discomfort is particularly common with this Official out of balance. In TCM, it is thought that the build up of toxins will occur first at the furthest away from the central organs and Officials. This leads the pathology into a “latent” state where it may produce serious pain and physical limitations, but the organs will protected. If left unaddressed, the toxins will continue to build and eventually there will not be any space within the outlying portions of the body to wall off the toxins and they will move into the organs and Officials and cause extreme problems. It is clear that a healthy Small Intestine Official is important for one’s overall health as we cannot continue on with toxins building in our body. JR speaks of the quality of alchemy related to this topic, “…this Official is part of the Fire Element and responsible with the others for disseminating the heat of fire evenly throughout the body, mind and spirit. When the flow is blocked anywhere in the system from impurity and rubbish, the fire within it will start to concentrate and overheat…” rather than purify. An out of control blaze of fire may also lead to a wide array of mania and hysteria.
We may help everyone else transform but forget or be unable to embrace transformation for our self. We may be sorting too much at once without priorities. We may be unable to change from our own experiences in life. We may develop problems with speech including tripping over words, not being able to string sentences together, speaking with no flow due to congestion, and poor comprehension. We may be unable to form complete sentences. We may have to many ideas an be unable to sort and prioritize these ideas. We may develop odd mental states including mania and overactivity. We may become overwhelmed. We may use sarcasm or sick humor as a defense mechanism. We may lack clarity and purity, developing on organize and messy habits or conversely be assessed with cleanliness unable to cope with anything in impure. We may have poor moral boundaries, easily influenced by outside source or we may be closed and overly cautious. We may be gullible with no discrimination, mistaking poor ideas for good ones.
The Small Intestine has a specific focus related to identifying and separating pure for impure for the whole of the system. It fulfills this role faithfully when it is in a healthy state. This role within the energetic system of the body supports pure qi moving throughout the system through the blood and supporting and serving all of the officials. When out of balance, we see complete chaos of the system being filled with impurities and unable to act from the truest, purest perspective. The Small Intestine is so dedicated to this role, as it directly serves the Heart, or Emperor of the Kingdom.
The correspondences of the Fire Element and hence the Heart, Small Intestine, Triple Heater and Heart Protector Officials are:
Emotion: Joy or Lack of Joy
Classical Five Element Acupuncture, Volume 3 by JR Worsley
Personal Class Notes ITEA 2019
The Small Intestine Official by Neil Gumenick