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Embracing the Earth Element :: Digestion is Key!

In the Taoist 5 element tradition, we’re now coming into the Earth element and the short, somewhat unrecognised season of Late Summer.


This is the harvest time ~ when the Earth is abundant with nourishment. Think of golden fields of crops, market stalls full of fruit & veg and people storing food for the winter months ahead.


It’s time to slow down and gather in. Earth is the middle way, bringing order and calm.


Your digestion is the key to your health! Your metabolism relies on it.


Earth governs the digestion of food & drink, but also your ability to digest thoughts and emotions too. The spirit of Intellect “Yi” is housed in your spleen.


If out of balance, you might feel a lot of worry, anxiety, overthinking, lack of concentration and a tonne of emotions churning around.


The spleen opens up to the mouth, so if there are difficulties with bleeding gums or bad breath - it could be a sign that the spleen Qi is weak.


Muscles are also related to the Earth element - if you find you’re cramping or feel weak & lethargic you’d benefit from supporting your spleen & stomach Qi.


In the same way that the Earth provides nourishment for nature to grow and for living beings to thrive, the Stomach & Spleen Qi ‘feed’ all the other organs enough for them to do their jobs!


This is crucial to your overall energy! And worth supporting.


Here are 5 tips to optimise your health & energy in the Earth season:

  1. Eat warm foods 🥣 Your body temperature is approx 37.5 degrees Celsius, so by avoiding cold and raw foods you’ll avoid wasting energy to warm it up. Soup is a perfect Earth food, especially root vegetables that have come direct from the soil ~ just like you’ll find in your local farmer’s market.

  2. Chew your food 👄 Digestion starts in the mouth and saliva is an Earth fluid that breaks down food into a liquid before it hits your stomach. Yep, you read that right - it should be liquid before it gets to your stomach. There’s a Taoist phrase - “Drink your food & eat your liquids”. Really chew your food and give your stomach a break! (also chew juices & smoothies to stimulate saliva and the digestive process)

  3. Breathe into your belly. 🔥 Warm your digestive fire with this age-old Taoist practice. You can even do this in bed, what I call lazy Taoism! Place your hands on your belly and breathe for 3 minutes into your navel area. This will activate your lower Tan Tien and give a boost to your digestive system.

  4. Nourish yourself and others too. 🎁 Be considerate and thoughtful of others and care for them. Give a small gift or a compliment. Make sure to do this with boundaries in place as earth people can have a tendency to over-care and can easily get burnt out!

  5. Don’t waste the earth’s resources. 🌍 Live a simple life that is easy on the Earth. Even though our planet provides and provides, her resources are not limitless. Avoid unnecessary packaging, use up all the food in your fridge & live with gratitude.

By the way, if you’re near Dublin join The Vitality Project 🌱 this Sunday August 7th at The Fumbally Stables for more tips on embracing the Earth element. It’s a morning of energy- enhancing Taoist practice followed by a 3 course seasonal lunch with foods that support your spleen & stomach.


Book here by Thursday 4th (so that there’s no food wastage when we buy from the market): https://www.universaltao.ie/the-vitality-project


An Extra Note: The Earth element is associated with Late Summer, and also with the summer & winter solstice and spring and autumn equinox, which are special energetic points in the calendar. So you can try implementing these tips at those times too!!

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