Cultivating your Earth Element

According to Trational Chinese Medicine, the change of seasons are an important time to play close attention to your health and well being, as any imbalances or signs of stress in your body*mind*spirit can be easily aggrevated.

September is considered "late summer" and is associated with the element of "Earth".  To understand how you can align with this time of transition, take preventative action in bolstering your health and ward off changes in your mood, here is an outline of the Earth element and how it affects us.


The Earth is the solidity and stability of the ground. It roots us and keeps us steady as we reach for our goals. It speaks to the centre of our being and our ability to take in and form impressions of the world and ourselves. It brings together our thoughts, words, ideas and concepts into philosophies and beliefs, manifesting as our intentions and actions. As our centre, it is like an axis around which we revolve and gives us the capacity to change direction without losing balance. Earth also speaks to presence, a pivot between past and future.

Earth supports growth and it is the soil from which life flourishes. It is about how we nurture others and ourselves. When this energy is out of balance, we can become either over-reliant on others to care for us or care too much for others so that we neglect caring for ourselves. It also encompasses the thought process, which when in balance is clear yet at its extreme can become over thinking, anxiety and obsession.

Supportive Earth Activities

  • Quiet Meditation
  • Self Affirmations
  • Self Nurturing
  • Journaling
  • Mindful Awareness of Thought Patterns

Earth Meridians – Spleen and Stomach

In TCM, the Stomach system is responsible for 'rotting and ripening' our food and drink and the Spleen system is the transformer and transporter of all substances we ingest. The two work together to process and metabolize in order to ensure that the body and mind are healthy and strong. These systems have the ability to digest only enough for one day. With too little nourishment, the body can't support its daily activities and with too much, it becomes stagnant.

The Spleen and Stomach systems also help us to digest and assimilate information. When our mental mixer is out of balance we tend to ruminate, turning things over and over with obsession and worry until our heads become unclear and fuzzy.

Other signs of imbalance are:
- fluid retention
- a feeling heavy in our body, limbs or head
- bloating after eating
- poor appetite
- unhealthy cravings and imbalanced hunger
- a feeling of lethargy or fatigue

Earth Harmonizing Foods

In late summer, choose foods that are harmonizing and mild. Some examples are: yellow or golden coloured foods (especially if round), millet, corn, carrots, cabbage, garbanzo beans, squash, potatoes, string beans, yams, sweet potato, sweet rice, rice, amaranth, peas, chestnuts, filberts, apricots, cantaloupe, mildly sweet foods.

Prepare food simply, with minimum seasonings and mild taste. Avoid complicated dishes with too many ingredients and combinations of foods. Avoid late night eating and overeating.

Interchange times are traditional times of purification in many cultures. These may be good times to do cleanses.
 

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