As we move into the transition between the outward (yang) energy of summer and inward (yin) energy of fall we find ourselves in the sweet balance of the Earth element. This is a great time to reconnect with a feeling of balance, grounding and nourishment.
The organ systems that are associated with the Earth element, the Spleen and Stomach, are responsible for gathering in the food and drink that we consume and transforming it into energy to be dispersed throughout the body. This function connects these organs deeply with the digestive system and our sense of nourishment. Proper functioning of these organ systems means that we have abundant energy to sustain our activities, digestion is smooth, and our bodies are supple and strong. If there is imbalance in the Earth element, digestive dysfunctions such as bloating, gas, IBS, GERD, Acid reflux, diarrhea and constipation can occur.
A great way to support your Spleen and Stomach organ systems is to focus on what and how you are eating. Here are some general tips for supporting the Earth element in this role:
The Earth element is connected to the overall energy of a person. Chronic low energy could be attributed to weak Spleen Qi (energy) due to it's inability to efficiently transform food and drink to energy for the body. Weak Spleen Qi can also show up as weakness in the muscles and limbs. Supporting your Spleen Qi through the tips above can help. Additionally, adding strength training to your exercise routine can be a great way to support the Spleen organ system. In general, light/moderate exercise each day is optimum. Over exercising can be depleting for some people.
The Spirit of the Spleen organ system is the Yi or the Intellect. It is connected to our ability to focus, concentrate and memorize. Supporting your Spleen organ system and the Earth element as a whole can be a great way to bolster these abilities, especially if you are in school or a job that demands a lot of mental engagement. Consider limiting social media/news and establishing boundaries around screen time.
When in balance, the Earth element is connected to the feelings of openness and fairness. When imbalanced, the Spleen is prone to worry and anxiety. Excessive worry and anxiety can also deplete the Spleen over time. Learning healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with these emotions if they become excessive can be beneficial. Therapy can be a great tool for this as well as journaling. I sometimes like to do a simple breathing exercise where I focus on breathing in for a count of 4 and breathing out for a count of 4. Once I have evened out my breath, I focus on breathing out any worry and anxiety and breathing in openness and fairness. I also enjoy the Transforming Anxiety podcast by Kelly Hanlin McCormick that focuses on looking at the way we think about anxiety.
I hope this info and tips are helpful as we move into the late summer season! Please reach out if you have any questions or feedback.
Earth Element Associations
Season: Late Summer
Sense Organ: Mouth
Balanced emotions: Openness and Fairness
Imbalanced emotions: Worry and Anixety
Amy Daws is a trained Therapeutic Massage, Shiatsu, and Chi Nei Tsang therapist. She is interested in the way that these modalities can bring healing and joy to people's lives.