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The Earth Element In Us – The Time of Changes

Home » Chinese Medicine » The Earth Element In Us – The Time of Changes

The season that corresponds to earth is Late Summer.

This is the last month of Summer from about 20 of August to 23 of September. The Earth Element is also related to fifteen days surrounding each equinoxes and two solstices (7,5 days before and after). The time of changes.

The earth Phase is often pictured in the center of the Five Elements. It represents the motherly principle, which nourishes all the other elements. It represents the power of manifestation and fertility. Being grounded is an essential experience of who we are. In times of changes one needs a strong center to remain stable. For example joint problems, which arises with the change of weather might have their causes in the Earth Element.

Since the earth is round, it indicates circles and all cycles, (patterns like eating, sleeping, breathing and menstruation). Regularity, rhythm and rituals are therefore important for the Earth Element. In an imbalanced earth these cycles might go off.

The Spleen and Stomach are Related to the Earth Element

The color yellow/orange strengthens this element. The emotional qualities are sympathy, self-acceptance, caring for yourself and others. If out of balance, these qualities can turn into obsessions, constant worrying and overprotecting.

The Spleen is situated in the middle burner and the meridian connects with the stomach, with which it is internally-externally related. Its main functions are governing transportation and transformation, controlling the blood, dominating the muscles and limbs, opening into the mouth and manifesting on the lips.

Governing transportation and transformation:

This function of the Spleen involves transportation and transformation of water and food on the one hand and of dampness on the other. The Spleen has the task of the digestion, absorption and transportation of food and water. Since water and food are the main nutrients required by the body after birth as well as being the main material base for the manufacture of qi and blood. The Spleen is the main organ of producing qi and blood.

When the Spleen qi is vigorous, digestion, absorption and transportation are normal. Deficiency of Spleen qi may lead to symptoms like: poor appetite, abdominal distention, loose stool, lassitude, emaciation and malnutrition.

The function of the Spleen in transforming dampness refers to the Spleen’s role in water metabolism. The Spleen transports the excess fluid of the meridians, tissues and organs and helps discharge it from the body.
It ensures that all tissues of the body are both properly moistened and free from retention of dampness; the clinical manifestations of dampness are edema, diarrhea, phlegm and fluid retention.

The transportation and transformation function of the Spleen relies on Spleen ascending qi.
If the spleen qi doesn’t ascend, or indeed sinks there may be vertigo, blurred vision, prolapse of rectum after prolonged diarrhea, or prolapse of various other internal organs. Treatment is aimed at strengthening the ascending function of the Spleen qi.

Controlling Blood

Controlling the blood means that the Spleen qi has the function of keeping the blood circulating in the vessels and preventing from extravasation. When the Spleen qi is strong, the source for the manufacture of blood will be strong, there will be ample qi and blood in the body, and the blood will be prevented from extravasation. If the spleen qi is week and fails to control the blood, there may be all kinds of hemorrhages, such as bloody stool, uterine bleeding and blood dots under the skin (purpura).

Dominating Muscles and Limbs

The spleen transports and transforms the food and water to nourish the muscles and the four limbs. Adequate nourishment ensures good development of muscles and proper function of the limbs. Otherwise the muscles of the four limbs will be weak and soft.

Opening Into the Mouth and Manifesting into the Lips

The spleen function of transportation and transformation of the food is closely related to food intake and sense of taste. When the spleen function is normal, there will be good appetite and a normal sense of taste. If there is an imbalance of the spleen there will be poor appetite, impaired sense of taste and a sticky, sweetish sensation in the mouth due to retention of pathogenic dampness in the spleen.

The spleen opens into the mouth and the lips reflect the condition of the spleen’s function. When the spleen is healthy, there will be ample qi and blood and the lips will be red and lustrous, otherwise the lips will be pale and shallow.