Late summer is upon us, with its hot, muggy weather and heat-breaking afternoon thunderstorms. Late summer is considered one of the five major seasons in the East, according to the Five Element Theory. This ancient framework of interrelationships describes how we are influenced in mind-body-spirit by different aspects of Nature. In traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we often look to Nature as a guide. We are all energy beings. All life—human, plant, animal, and Universal—are connected in the larger picture.
In August, Nature is undergoing its last burst of growth before harvest time. The energy of Late Summer corresponds to the nurturing Earth element. So the next few weeks are an important time for self-nurturing and self-cultivation. This a powerful time for us to fully ripen and transform, using the last of summer’s bountiful energy.
How do these seasonal energies influence our physical well-being? Also associated with the Earth element, the Stomach and the Spleen resonate with Late Summer’s energetic vibration. You can easily assess whether your Stomach or Spleen are harmonizing with the seasonal energies of Late Summer. If this organ pair is low on energy, you may experience nausea, stomach flu, IBS, weight gain, blood sugar disorders, or low energy. If your Stomach or Spleen are harmonizing with the energies of Late Summer, your digestive system may be feeling more harmonious than usual.
Just as all of Nature relies on Mother Earth for sustenance, we also rely on our digestive system for emotional and physical support. Think about all that we ask our bodies to digest—foods that we eat, things that we see or hear, and emotions that we feel and experience. Keeping our Stomach and Spleen energy strong and balanced provides a solid foundation for lifelong mind-body-spirit health.
Try these tips to achieve a better state of Stomach and Spleen balance this season.
- Eat Seasonal Produce: Farmer’s markets are in full-swing in late summer, with produce (often organic) that is locally grown. Give up meat for a week, and instead stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Peruse the recipe section of our Website for guidance or get creative on your own. Why not grill some cauliflower or chop up an avocado and mango salad? See where your creativity takes you!
- Nurture Yourself: Shower yourself with positive thoughts and self-love. Try something exciting (take a sculpture class or paint a bench for your garden) and watch yourself blossom! Or take a road trip to an interesting location. Think about why you chose this place and how it may help you connect to your deeper self.
- Connect to Nature: We are often so busy in our daily routines that we lose sight of our deep connection to Nature and Spirit. Take some time each day to walk in Nature. Find something in Nature that captures your attention and study it intently. Recognize that everything in Nature is an energy being, just as you are. Let that connection flood your being.
- Don’t Worry, Be Happy! Worry is the emotion that greatly impacts the function of the Stomach and Spleen. When you come to a worrisome situation, take a step back and breathe deeply. Try to look at the situation from a different perspective. Find a reason to smile.