As we start to say goodbye to the long hot days of summer, we’re entering a special time of year associated with the Earth element. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Earth energy is seen as nourishing and stable, a time of abundance, fullness and ripeness. It aligns naturally with the harvest time of late summer and early autumn, a time of transition.
It’s considered to be a neutral energy, rather than yin or yang, a place of balance. In our bodies, the Earth element is associated with the spleen and stomach, which are central to the digestion of food and emotions, bringing people together. It’s thought that the ease with which you can flow with the transitions between the seasons can offer insight into the health and stability of the Earth Element within you.
When Earth energy is out of balance within us, it can manifest as worrying and overthinking. This can keep too much energy in the head leaving you ungrounded, and out of contact with your lower body. An imbalance of Earth energy can also manifest as being overly sympathetic, for example, putting the needs of others ahead of your own to an extreme, reflecting the need to give, rather than the other person’s need to receive. At the other end of the spectrum, being unsympathetic, overly self-focussed, selfish and narcissistic can also be a sign of an Earth energy imbalance.
Location of the spleen
In TCM, the stomach is considered to be the most important of the yang organs, providing nourishment for all other organs. It’s nickname is “The Great Granary”. The stomach begins the process of transformation of food into food essence which the Spleen then transports throughout the body. The Spleen assists the stomach in transforming food into energy, and is also responsible for moving Qi (energy) and fluids, it’s nickname is the “Minister for Transport”.
One of my favourite (and most potent) acupressure points lies on the Stomach meridian. Especially useful when tramping, it’s called the “three-mile” point. The legend is that ancient Chinese soldiers would use the “three-mile” point to be able to walk an extra three miles on their marches. The point powers the legs, and fortifies the whole body, eliminating fatigue. It also is quite handy, as it treats most digestive problems, supports the immune system and treats chills, fever and asthma. The swiss army knife of acupressure points! At a basic level, this point brings a greater sense of solidarity, stability and grounding both physically and emotionally. It supports your capacity to receive nourishment from food and other people and calms emotions.
Location of three-mile acupressure point