People like a big navel

What is the navel actually good for?

NEW ISENBURG. As a doctor, you almost always have to deal with organs in your everyday life that no longer function properly or at times no longer work properly - but why not, as a doctor, turn to the healthy body and let yourself be inspired by how ingeniously it is actually constructed ?

In their book "Leber an Spleen", Dr. Lucia Schmidt and Andrea Freund with a lot of enthusiasm about the fascinating service our body does for us every day without us being aware of it. They are not primarily concerned with the large organs such as the heart, intestines and skin, but with the small, often underestimated organs.

"Even as a doctor, I was amazed at what, for example, the navel is there and what it can do or what function our tailbone still has for us today, although strictly speaking it is a holdover from the time when we still had a tail had ", says Schmidt.

Keyhole in the body

The belly button is described as one of the most mystical places in our body in "Liver to Spleen", for example. Not only because looking at it again makes you aware of what the umbilical cord can do during pregnancy, and because surgeons later like to use the umbilicus as a keyhole in the body to make a camera during endoscopic examinations and operations insert into the abdominal cavity.

The orthopedic surgeon Khalil Kermanin even sees the navel as the gateway to our inner balance. Inside our body, the fasciae form our inner skin, so to speak, and clothe all muscles and organs and connect them with strands that reach up to the top of the skull and down to the soles of the feet.

Veins, arteries and nerves meet within these strands and exchange information. And the center of this mystical realm is - the belly button.

Alternative points of view

A few decades ago, the umbilicus was sometimes removed completely during abdominal operations because it was considered unnecessary, which, however, often caused the patients to suffer very much in retrospect, reports Schmidt. Today we know that the navel belongs to a good body feeling, so to speak as the center, as a place for the "gut feeling".

The book does not only look at the organs from a medical-scientific perspective, but also from the perspective of alternative medicine. Schmidt and Freund let experts in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or osteopathy take a look at the individual organs. Which often opens up a completely different perspective.

The reader gets an insight into what the tongue or fingernails were used for in diagnostics in the past. Maybe one or the other older doctor knows that, but currently this knowledge is hardly used due to the most modern diagnostics. For example, an iron or blood deficiency can be recognized by the structure of the fingernails. Completely white colored nails can be an indication of diabetes. With heart failure, the nails can turn blue.

In TCM, however, the color and shape of the tongue or fingernails are still often looked at today. The criteria for the color of the tongue, its coating, its texture and its size are essential criteria for treatment. According to this theory, a reddened tongue indicates heat, as with scarlet fever, and a bluish tongue is caused by congestion in the body, for example with organic diseases or by strong nervous tension, as Gesa Meyer-Hamme, doctor at the Center for TCM at the University Clinic Hamburg- Eppendorf reports in the book.

The work is fun to read, and perhaps one or the other simple explanations and comparisons from everyday life will also help the doctor during patient discussions to bring medical facts closer to the layman in an understandable way.

Andrea Freund and Lucia Schmidt

"Liver to spleen - how we learn to listen to the secret signals of our organs"

Ecowin Publishing House

240 pages

18 euros

ISBN: 978-3-7110-0165-8