Spleen Yang deficiency

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Spleen yang is the active part of your Spleen, keeping things in place, digesting and absorbing what you eat, putting colour in your cheeks and bounce in your step.

So with Spleen Yang deficiency you get a range of symptoms showing that this process isn't working properly.

That means that your Spleen, which is rather like a housekeeper, allows rubbish to build up where it shouldn't, can't keep things tidy in your body, and begins to go to seed. That means that your flesh loses tone and you feel weak and, often, overwhelmed.


  • Poor circulation, meaning you feel cold with cold arms and legs
  • Distension after eating
  • Poor appetite
  • Weakness and Tiredness
  • Preference for lying or sitting down
  • Pale skin
  • Stools tend to be loose
  • Easily put on weight 
  • Easily become obese
  • Often oedema
  • Tongue: pale, wet, may be swollen if there is Damp
  • Pulse: weak, deep

Why do you get Spleen Yang deficiency?

The main causes are diet, emotion, wet weather and chronic disease.


  • Wet weather, especially cold, damp weather, is a major cause of this deficiency.


  • Eating too much raw or cold food for your constitution
  • Eating too much at a time, even if the food is warm to the touch and not raw
  • Eating irregularly, meaning too fast, or in a hurry, or when working, or at odd times, or snatching food as you drive. Nearly everyone who uses a computer is guilty to some extent: eating while working. This is a major cause of this condition, and it's really a way of life for many. So it's very hard to get out of the habit! But, nevertheless, it's a bad habit
  • Eating too little
  • Eating not enough of the main nutrients needed by your body, the main one being protein as far as the Spleen is concerned


  • Over-thinking
  • Worry
  • Worrying too much for others

Chronic Disease

  • Any kind of long-term disease tends to lead to this deficiency because Spleen Yang needs movement and when ill for long you don't move around much. When you can't move much, lymph doesn't move and Damp and Phlegm collect, further weakening Spleen Yang.

What happens next?

Usually, the next symptoms come from the following, always assuming that the cause remains and nothing is done about it.

  • Appearance of oedema
  • Becomes obese and overweight
  • More susceptible to diseases such as coughs and colds
  • Takes on too much work, so always thinking/worrying
  • Sprains muscles trying to do too much or too quickly
  • Gets Qi Stagnation because easily frustrated
  • Nervous exhaustion: needs long periods of rest, sleep, unable to work
  • Gets symptoms of Damp
  • Gets Phlegm
  • You begin to get other, related syndromes, often to do with the Stomach energy organ. Later, syndromes arise involving the Lungs and the Heart, see below.

What can you do about it?

Read again the causes of the problem, above then:


  • Get help to put your diet and eating habits right.

Dress for Warmth and to avoid Damp and cold

  • Start dressing warmly so that you don't get affected by cold, damp weather. If you cannot avoid it, try to take a warm bath after exposure to it. When you are fully warmed up and glowing again, what about a quick Cold Shower to lock in the benefits?
  • Find somewhere to live and work that doesn't have damp or mould in the building.

Try to do less, especially if you have taken on more than you can reasonably handle and 

  • are always thinking or worrying about something, or 
  • planning something, or 
  • being asked to read or consider something to make comments about, or 
  • just rushing from A to B to keep up with things, 
  • ... even if you think all this is highly enjoyable and a great challenge, because it's not doing you any good,  there's too much of it and you'll get sick, pull a muscle, get over-tired or similar. Then you may get more seriously ill.

Acupuncture can often ward off the serious developments but you've got to take yourself in hand. Even acupuncture isn't perfect!

Other Spleen syndromes

Kidney Yang

Kidney Yang provides the support structure for Spleen Yang. If you have Spleen Yang deficiency for too long, you'll probably get Kidney Yang deficiency as well.

And if you already have Kidney Yang deficiency, you'll start getting symptoms of this Spleen Yang deficiency syndrome.

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Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott Books

All the books in the 'Chinese Medicine in English' series should be fully accessible on Kindles and Kindle apps. (Or you can buy the softback print editions, of course.)

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Here are some of the books I (Jonathan) have written.

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Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress

Yin Deficiency - Burnout and Exhaustion

Yang Deficiency - Get Your Fire Burning Again!

Yuck! Phlegm! How to Clear Your Phlegm ...

Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine

Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine! See Reviews.

Seven Reviews so far for Yuck Phlegm. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)

3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!

By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.

For the Latest Reviews of 'Qi Stagnation', click here!

NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.

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