The bodily energy Beken in Tibetan Medicine
The bodily energy Beken (Phlegm) corresponds with the fluid aspect of the body. All bodily fluids are dependent upon Beken, which is responsible for the lubrication of the entire body (including the joints). As a result, it furnishes the connections within the body, as well as its softness and elasticity. Beken also provides the firmness of the body and the mind (in the form of patience). The level above the heart is considered the main location of this bodily energy.
Beken is described as being
- blunt/slowly acting,
- stable and
- sticky (mucous-like).
Because of the oily quality of Beken, when imbalanced, people experience obesity. Digestive fire cools down causing heaviness in the body and slow metabolism. Ones skin becomes smooth and soft, and disease have stable (chronic) character, with increase of mucus.
Balanced Beken is responsible for producing firmness of the body and mind, inducing sleep, connecting joints, promoting physical and mental tolerance, smoothing the body and lubricating the joints.
Five types of Beken:
- Supporting Beken is located in the chest region and supports the remaining four types of Beken and responsible for general level of moisture in the body.
- Decomposing Beken is located in the undigested site and breaks down food particles into very fine paste.
- Experiencing Beken is located in the tongue and provides perception of the six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, hot, and astringent.
- Satisfying Beken is locates in the head and satisfies the sensory organs. As a result, we consider tones as pleasant sounds, smells as good smells, tastes as good tastes, and see beauty in the objects that we perceive, etc.
- Connecting Beken is located in all the joints and is responsible for connecting the joints and enabling smooth stretching and retraction of the limbs.
General signs and symptoms:
- Pulse: weak, slow, sunken
- Urine: whitish and turbid with tiny bubbles and little smell or fume
- Tongue: covered with pale-white moist coat
- Mouth: a sticky sensation in the mouth with reduced ability to taste foods
- Skin: pale face, gums and skin, swollen eyelids, slackening or thickening of the skin
- General: dullness, heaviness, sleepiness, apathy, laziness
- Stomach: poor digestion, lack of appetite, stomach discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea with undigested food or mucus in the stool, burping, and flatulence
- Other: abundant saliva and mucus, loose or enlarged joints, general weight gain, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, feeling of coldness in the stomach and body in general
The above symptoms are aggravated in the spring, in rainy weather, in the morning, in late afternoon, and immediately after eating.
If the condition improves after eating lamb, beef, honey, grains grown in dry area, or pungent, sour, or astringent food, or foods with rough, warm, and sharp qualities, or when staying in warm, dry places, or after physical exercise, then Phlegm disorder is confirmed. Likewise, is hard to digest food and especially meat, withered greens, stale foods, leftover food, sweet or bitter food with heavy, cold, or blunt qualities, overeating, or sleeping during the day aggravates condition, the disease is caused by Beken imbalance.
Lifestyle and diet:
The general diet and behavior for Phlegm disorders should be warming.
One should keep body in warmth, especially stomach area, stay in sunny places, exercise daily, and sleep less.
One should drink plenty of boiled water, water with ginger and honey, eat warm soups, steamed vegetables and generally only warm food. Warming spices like cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger should be added to food.
Cold drinks and foods like sandwiches and salads, and oily foods like burgers, French fries and deep fried foods should be totally avoided. One shouldn`t eat much at once, but better eat smaller meal more frequently throughout the day, though one should not eat before previous food is digested.