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The sense organ associated with the Wood Element is the eye, in turn, the liver has the closest relationship with the eye, since the liver stores blood, and the liver meridian is connected to the eye.  “If liver blood is abundant, the eye will be well nourished, and vision will be good.“1

A lot of symptoms of the eye can reflect the condition of the liver. For instance, “red and itchy eyes, are caused by wind-heat in the liver meridian. If the liver blood is deficient, the eye may feel dry, and there may be blurred vision, or night blindness.”6

A few examples of conditions which may impair vision:

  • Visual Problems: Far sightedness, Nearsightedness (Myopia), Squint, Dilopia (double vision),

  • Colour Blindness,

  • Retinal Degeneration such as Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes night blindedness, Macula

  • Degeneration which causes loss of central vision, Retinal Detachment causing flashes of light and shadows over vision, Glaucoma which causes intra-occular pressure on retina and thus visual disturbances

  • Optic Problems such as Optic Neuritis which causes loss of central vision, Optic Atrophy

  • Anterior Uveitis (the uvea being the ciliary body and iris) causing blurry vision

  • Acute Choroiditis causing blurry vision and black spots floating in front of sight

  • Lens Problems such as Cataracts which change the lens opacity and thus sight

  • Cornea – Cornea Ulcers, Herpes Zoster (shingles) which may effect cornea, Ptygerium a yellow growth from the corner of the cornea over eye which can interfere with vision, Keratoconus where the central part of the cornea buldges and protrudes forward as a cone and causes deterioration of  vision due to Astigmatism.

  • Trachoma – viral infection of eye can cause blindness

What is interesting to note when researching the medical reasons for these visual disorders is that very often they stem from problems which would also effect the liver such as drug and chemical in take; an excess of toxins within the body; infections; dietary, endocrine and blood problems.

Sanpaku Eyes
Reflections on why People with Sanpaku eyes might suffer from severe depression, memory loss, severe mood swings, and anger, or  may even end up with a criminal record (including such offenses as rape).

A healthy, "balanced" person would have the iris positioned right in the middle, so that the whites can be seen only on either side. Some people, however, have the iris "floating" so that the whites can be seen on the sides as well as below or above the iris. This condition is called sanpaku meaning "three whites". This is a sign of poor health6.

"According to my research the eyes can predict violent behavior. The more pressure and stress a person is under, the more it will show in the eyes. The more white around the iris, the more dangerous that person can become. This is true for most people." Claims Kathy Thompson, nationally recognized Face Reader in the USA. "Your eyes will show your true mental state." 5 Thompson has been researching faces for over 10 years. (pictures illustrate the 5 stages of stress)

Stress affects the mind and optic nerves behind the eyes which  pulls the muscles up and causes the eyeball to expand.  Below the eye is a piece of bone, and the eyeball rests on this bone. So when the eyeballs expand, they expand upwards, causing the iris to move up. White space is revealed under the irises.

The person may have a lack of wood chi  resulting from an inadequate diet, in that it does not provide the essential nutrients or energetic intake that is required and in addition, the diet may be full of toxins in the form of chemical food additives or the person may be taking some form of drugs. 

”The property of the wood element is of growing freely and unfolding”1, thus suppressed liver chi can cause an irritable, fiery temperament, mood swings and depression.

Both the liver and gallbladder meridians pass through the frontal lobes which function in  “complex problem solving and judging the consequences of behaviour”8 which may therefore lead to irrational decisions and criminal offences. The meridians also pass through the sexual and adrenal organs and thus there may be excessive testosterone present and this may be why a wood imbalanced person becomes sexually deviant or goes to the extreme of rape.

JF Kennedy is an example of a wood imbalanced person with Sanpaku eyes.  As president of the United States he must have been under tremendous stress.   It is known that he took many drugs in the form of medication for back pain which would have effected his liver chi, had an adrenal disorder – Addison’s Disease and was known to be sexually insatiable.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wood is controlled by Metal in that Metal has the ability to chop Wood.  Metal representing the minerals and electrolytes in the body which govern communication and include the nervous and endocrine systems of the body.  Sanpaku eyes are formed by and thus involve the nervous system and people with Sanpaku eyes are under stress which also involves the endocrine and specifically the adrenal glands. A sanpaku  person thus may have a lack of minerals in the body and/or may be suffering from adrenal exhaustion.

In summation a person with a Wood Element imbalance and Sanpaku eyes may end up with a criminal record, depression or mood swings because of the wood imbalance which may affect their emotions, nervous system, hormonal levels of adrenaline and testosterone and effect their level of reasoning as to what behaviour is acceptable.

“Many people nowadays have a very mild version of this condition, because the modern diet tends to be very yin / expanded. In a mild case, you may not see "three whites". But you can see that the bottom part of the iris is just at the level of the lower eye-lid. The condition is so common that George Ohsawa once remarked when he saw a crowd of people, "You are all sanpaku"6.

Sanpaku eyes are an external manifestation of an imbalance in the wood element . The wood element requires sources of energy coming from sunshine, fresh air, fresh nutrition, positive thoughts and sufficient rest and relaxation and also requires the ability to use this gained energy in an unfettered way such as the ability to express oneself freely and “space to unfold”.

Imbalances in the wood element today can be said to be caused from eating “on the run” – food that is convenient; lacks vital energy, vitamins and minerals and is generally acidic.  The food is also commonly full of additives such as preservatives, colouring, and flavouring.  Our food is no longer ripened in the sun, it is grown with pesiticides, and fertilizers.  In the case of meat, unnatural food sources are provided to the animal, and the use of hormones and antibiotics are common. 

We consume more stimulants than previously such as tea, coffee, alcohol, concentrated sugars and use more medications, drugs, and cigarettes. We tend too spend much more time driving in traffic and thus inhaling noxious gases.  We do not take sufficient time to rest and relax and thus become “stressed” which affects our hormonal system which in turn affects our other systems such as the digestive system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and reproductive system and causes disturbances in those.

The wood element is thus not provided with the essential energy that it requires to create chi and function normally and yet it is asked to remove the toxic build-up within our systems caused by these unnatural substances that require the liver and gallbladder to do more work in detoxification of our bodies.

In more serious cases, where the "three whites" are clearly visible, this indicates very poor health and high levels of stress in the body. You may see this in cancer patients and others who are seriously ill, as well as drug addicts and alcoholics, or even among young children who take excessive amounts of sweets, soft drinks and chemicalised foods.6

To regain optimal wood chi energy and to reverse Sanpaku eyes:

  • go on a cleansing program to assist in ridding of all the built up toxins,

  • eat food that is as natural as possible (organic),

  • eat fresh fruits and vegetables as these have an energy which is not contained in frozen or other type of foods,

  • take time to breathe in deeply - “fresh air”, too many people shallow breathe,

  • spend a few minutes in the sun daily to take in its energy, before driving into deep traffic put your air on recycle so that you do not take in the fumes,

  • take care of your spirit as well as your body by taking time to release and let go of negative thoughts completely & creating positive thoughts - be thankful for all the good you enjoy,

  • Take time to really relax the mind and body and let go of stressors, without chemical assistance

  • Supplements/tonics which are good for the liver such as Milk Thistle, Dandelion Tea or Essentiale may be taken, fresh beetroot and carrot juice are excellent liver tonics

  • It is advisable to take daily a high potency Multivitamin and mineral

It is how we look after our lifestyles and specifically where we invest our energies and how and with what we replenish our energies that will determine how effectively we  eliminate Sanpaku eyes.

1. Chinese Herbal Medicine by Dr Guang Xu, Vermillion London, 
   Published 1996 Pages 51- 54, ISBN 0-0980-944-4
5. www.words 4-u.com/sanpaku.html  downloaded July
6. www.richardseah.com/magic/magicbody2.html downloaded July 2003
7. Britannica Encyclopedia CD 1997 “Visual Disorders”
8. Holes Human Anatomy and Physiology, Seventh Edition, 
   ISBN  0-697-20959-8, page 402
9. What Doctors Don’t Tell You by Lynne McTaggart, 
    ISBN 0-7225-3024-2, pages 111-112

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