In the traditional chinese medical system, the small intestine is much more than just its physical traits. TCM pairs energetic meridians so that they form a complete circuit. The small intestine is paired with the heart meridian, Imbalances in the small intestine meridian can lead to problems such as abdominal pain, digestion issues and also appetite problems like overeating or poor appetite. The small intestine meridian starts at outer tip of the pinky finger and runs up the arm, over the scapula of the shoulder, up the neck and ends in front of the ear. The meridian pathway allows for it to be useful in treating not just intestinal and abdominal issues, but also things like earaches, TMJ, shoulder and neck pain.
In TCM, the small intestine plays both a physical and a mental role. The mental role of the small intestine is to separate the clear thoughts from the turbid ones, This is another way the small intestine is connected to the heart in TCM. The heart in this system is in charge of all of our mental heath. Clear judgement depends on the ability of the small intestine to separate the pure from the impure. When there is dysfunction in the SI, there may also be dysfunction in the mind.