The Gall Bladder – The Decision Maker
As well as being the Yang Wood organ, the Gall bladder is also considered to be an extraordinary organ. Indeed, as the Gall bladder is charged with storing bile, which is considered to be a refined substance, it does buck the common trend. All the others Yang organs are involved in transporting, and either refining or eliminating food and drink. (The other Yang organs are the Stomach, the Large and Small Intestine and the Bladder.) Storage is usually a Yin role.
The Function of the Gall Bladder
1. Stores and excretes bile to aid digestion
In Chinese Medicine as in Western medicine the Gall bladder is seen to store and excrete bile. In this way it is involved in the Livers function of ensuring the smooth flow of Qi as the bile plays a vital role in the digestion and transportation of Qi. The connection between the Liver and Gall Bladder is entwined at both the physical and psychological level. At the physical level the Gall Bladder relies on smooth Liver Qi in order to secrete the bile smoothly, and the Liver needs a smooth flow of bile in to maintain a constant and even flow of Qi.
2. Rules decision-making
As we have seen the Liver is the General who makes the plans, but is the Gall Bladder that takes the decisions. This is the psychological link between the two organs, as in order to live a good and just life both planning and decision-making must be strong. Another important part of the Gall Bladders job description, is to deal with life’s adversities by providing the emotional ‘bile’ to break up the stagnation caused by stress and frustration. Because of this, unlike the Liver that tends to become overloaded or stagnant, the Gall Bladder can become deficient. A weak Gall Bladder will result is timidity, vacillation and lack of initiative and drive. We may find we lose the courage of our convictions.
3. Controls the tendons/sinews
This role too, shows the very close link between the Liver and the Gall Bladder. It is said that whilst the Liver provides the Blood necessary to nourish the tendons, the Gall Bladder provides the Qi.