Earth Element - Chinese Medicine Spleen-Stomach
You are nurturing and empathetic to other people's plights! You have an amiable disposition; you are sweet to people, and this makes you very popular. You are a patient listener; even strangers feel comfortable with you. You easily build social networks and act to bond your family together; you like keep everyone connected. You are a wonderful behind-the-scenes facilitator. You love to cook for others and nurture your family.
Earth Element is all about being grounded and connected.
Earth is of the Indian summer, when the bountiful harvest from summer arrives and nourishes us fully. In your life, the power of the Earth Element allows you to feel abundant and nurtured.
Out of Balance:
If the Earth Element is out of balance, or is blocked from fully expressing itself, you may lack the qualities above, or have lost them over time as the imbalance has grown more severe. Nurturing turns to meddling; empathy turns to crowding; sweetness turns to clinginess; listening turns to ambivalence; carrying turns to worried involvement; connections turn to overbearing attachments; facilitating turns to self-sacrifice.
The Earth Element includes the Stomach and the Spleen energetic organ systems according to Chinese medicine. When we are able to take in nourishment, it is then transforms Food Qi in to Qi and Blood necessary to maintain good health and wellness. Any type of eating disorders including anorexia or bulimia, would point to an Earth Element imbalance. Improper eating habits can damage the Spleen.
In Chinese medicine, as in reality, there is no way to separate the mind and the body. By treating the Spleen, you correct emotional imbalances associated with Earth Element; by addressing emotional issues associated with Earth Element, you treat the Spleen. Worry is the central emotion linked to Earth Element imbalances.
Everyone has met someone who has a sing-song way of speaking and an overly sweet disposition; this would be an indication of Earth imbalance. Someone who has not been well mothered, or who has been over mothered during childhood, would be prone to an Earth Element imbalance. Those who lack the ability to nurture others or who are unable to accept and utilize nourishment from Gaia, or mother Earth, may be experiencing an Earth Element imbalance.
One of the most common presentations of Earth imbalance is called Spleen Qi Deficiency, and can cover a whole host of symptoms. The Spleen is in charge of transforming foods and fluids. When presented with too much food, the Spleen is unable to transform nutrients, and congestion develops. A common pre-diabetic condition called insulin resistance would be an example of a breakdown of the transformational qualities of the Earth Element. Look to Restore the Middle Way formula.
Another sign of Spleen Qi Deficiency would be the development of Internal Dampness and the many complicated symptoms and diseases that result from fluid stagnation in the tissues and Organs. Because the Spleen is responsible for transporting and transforming fluids, congestion of fluids develops throughout the body when the Spleen energetic organ system is functionally damaged.
Thinking is also endowed to the Earth Element; therefore, over studying can result in a compromised Earth Element. Muddled thinking or being stuck on one thought process would be an indication of an Earth imbalance. With Internal Dampness people experience what is referred to as a foggy brain as a result of Spleen Qi Deficiency.
The Stomach's roles in health is to rotten and ripen the food that is consumed so that it can be transformed in to Qi and Blood that can circulate throughout the body. The Stomach and Spleen can be damaged by the over-consumption of cold foods, raw vegetables, fruit juices, fried foods, and iced drinks; these all sound like healthy foods, but according to Chinese food therapy they must be consumed sparingly.
Physical and Emotional Symptoms that occur with a Earth Element Imbalance
- Smothering attention
- Lack of Sympathy
- Eating disorders
- Craving sweets
- Weak muscles
- Stomach issues
- Weight Gain
- Pain or numbness along associated channels