The spleen is not one of the “popular” organs. It’s not discussed as often as the liver, kidneys, or small intestine but that doesn’t mean it is insignificant. The spleen carries out crucial physiological functions important for our vitality and flourishment.
The spleen is often thought of as the red blood cell (RBC) graveyard, but it goes beyond this generalization. The spleen is a blood and lymph reservoir. It is responsible for filtering the blood, removing iron from hemoglobin, produces lymphocytes and antibodies, and stores and releases blood with high concentration of corpuscles. It is considered a secondary lymphoid organ, playing a huge role in the immune system. Large amounts of blood are filtered through the spleen, delivered by the splenic artery which is referred to as the “artery of life”. When blood is filtered through the spleen, old, fragile, or damaged RBCs are destroyed and debris are removed through phagocytosis, ensuring that the circulating blood is efficient in doing its job.
This soft organ, often resembling a bar of soap, is not very adaptable to adverse forces. It is the least resistant of the glandular organs, meaning it can rupture easily. This points towards why it hides up underneath the rib cage for some extra boney protection.
When the spleen is removed, or if it is adversely impacted in a car accident or other incident, there are large emotional implications. Without a spleen or with significant spleen pathology, the liver will try to compensate for its reduced function. Oftentimes, these individuals will suffer from a general dissatisfaction with life, a depletion in their vitality to live, and a low level sadness.
When manual therapy is used to address pathology or dysfunction in the spleen, not only can it improve the inherent functions of the organ, it can also increase the individual’s zest for life. Treatment that targets the spleen has large systemic impacts that improves overall health and vitality, equipping you with the tools needed to thrive.
The spleen may not typically take the main stage when we talk about organ health, but it truly is a heavy hitter!
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