Thoracic 8 or TH8 can be found in the middle of the valley that is the slight inward curve of the spine between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae. Like TH9, the ventral body is heart shaped. The difference being that TH8 has an increasingly large vertebral arch. The long spinous process (the bony bit that you see when you look at someone’s back) slopes downwards and overlaps with TH9.
The physical conditions that are associated with misalignments to this vertebra are spleen problems and a weak immune system. The immune system helps to protect the body from harmful substances such as antigens. In other word this could include things like bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells or foreign blood and tissues from another person or species. An overactive immune system develops allergic reactions, while an under-active immune system makes you more susceptible to infection. This is in relation to external influences. When the defence systems that are supposed to protect you from harmful influences in the external environment starts to attack you, this is what we call auto-immune diseases
The spleen filters waste from and recycles the red blood cells. Platelets and white blood cells are also stored there. It has a crucial role in communication assisting the immune system to identify and attack foreign pathogens and allergens.
If we were to compare our immune system to a structure in society it would be our armed forces on a macro scale or our parents/carers on a micro scale. The people and systems that protect us from foreign or harmful invaders. On an individual level it is our ability to recognise and discriminate what is inside of us and what is external to us. The relationship we have with this boundary has a distinct effect on our overall health and development.
Research into how our emotions and thoughts affect this area indicates that a strong emotional support system in our early years will aid us in developing a greater resilience and strength to protect us against outside invasion and being easily influenced by others. We will have more self-belief and trust in ourselves. We will be more caring and loving towards ourselves and others, be able to recover from setbacks easier. The more positive and caring we are towards ourselves the less likely we are to become depressed.
Disruptions in our emotional development where love has been associated with trauma, confusion or when you just never knew what response you were going to get from your caregiver impacts on the strength of your immune system. Where there has been a lack of love, comfort and protection in our younger years, as adults that empty feeling can make you behave in a very needy way. You may feel unsure about how to express your love or even be confused about what love should feel like. You will have a deep need for love but your experiences of how unpredictable, unreliable or hurtful the expression of love was towards you, makes you reject it and feel overly defensive. You may forgo your own needs to please another until your needs are no longer yours. This is when the boundaries of what is you and what is external are blurred. These extremes of emotions are exhausting on the system and deplete your bodies ability to naturally defend and protect itself.
We also have to acknowledge the afffect chemical toxins from our food air and water are impacting on our systems. Our bodies are designed to maintain a balance/homeostasis but when the external influences are constant and relentless our systems just get overwhelmed, just like emotional toxins.
When inner anger, irritations and resentment go unexpressed, these old stagnant thought patterns and feelings also impact on the strength of our natural and healthy defences. A strong spleen frees us up from these toxic conditions encouraging clarity and compassion.