Late Summer and the Earth Element

From approximately mid-August until the first frost, in Asian medicine, we see this is the time of the year where the Earth element is most prominent. This is one of my favorite times of the year. Here is is when we are enjoying the harvest and the last beautiful warm days of the year. Although some leaves are turning, flowers are still blossoming, and there are some precious sunny beach days left.

Spleen and Stomach are the earth meridians of the body and the emotion housed here is worry and concern. Earth constitutional types are known for their generosity and even giving a little too much, like in the story ‘the Giving Tree’. But there is also so much to give (and take) this time of year as everything feels so abundantly available.

Two weeks ago, I was having dinner with a friend at my favorite Italian restaurant. The service and the food there is wonderful and we were enjoying sitting outside and looking at the menu. The party next to us were just served a pizza that was covered with zucchini slices and looked delicious. We were hungry! We asked them what it was and they told us and then one of the people said, ‘Here. Try a piece.’ and she handed us a slice. Then we ordered the same.

A few days later, I was sitting on a bench next to a woman, waiting for a bus. Then she asked if I would open a bottle for her (Smartwater?) and I did and gave it back to her. And then she offered me a sip! Of course, I didn’t take it, but appreciated her generosity.

Another aspect of Earth and Spleen energy that will often occur is that we tighten up our routines. After a more free schedule during early summer, often we are back to school, literally or figuratively.

In a conversation on an acupuncture forum, we discussed how a ‘happy spleen likes routine’. Are we nurturing ourselves with regular meals, exercise, and good sleep or are we neglecting ourselves? I’ll often ask my patients what their routines are around food, exercise and sleep, and creating routines around these things can greatly improve quality and life and health. We worry less and have more to give when we know our needs are taken care of.

Do you have a daily routine? I would love to hear more if you do and how or why you created them. My own routines have made my life much easier.

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