Out of the Fire and Deep Into Earth: Use Earth's Bounty to Build Up Your Qi as we Head into Earth Element Season
For those of you who have been my patients for some time, you’ve heard me talk a lot about the seasons/elements and how they relate to our health, the foods we need to eat, the types of issues we are likely to be dealing with, and in general, what we can do to stay balanced.
We just left the Fire element and plunged into Earth; for anyone here in Fort Collins, there is no denying that summer is suddenly gone. One day it was here, and we were still burning under the summer/Fire glow, and the next, sweaters were being pulled out from the back of closets for our suddenly chilly evenings.
As we move out of Summer and into Late Summer, I thought the image above was the perfect way to kick off the season with a bit of humor…for behind us now is the playfulness and joy of the Fire season, but no reason we can’t bring a little of that playfulness along with us as we move into the Earth Season ahead! :-)
Earth Element is the harvest season
Late Summer is a season that is not recognized in western culture, but for the Chinese, it is the time after the peak of summer has passed, yet before the chill of fall has set in. It is a magical moment in time when all of earth is showing, and giving us, what we need.
We must remember, that although summer has left us, it has not left us alone, for in its wake is the harvest of the gardens…the nourishment we need to sustain ourselves through the cold months ahead. As things dry and prepare for dormancy, there is still much life and sustenance to be gleaned from the earth.
And if summer was a time for frolicking and fun, the Earth season, or Late Summer, is all about gathering up and storing nourishment so we can build the Qi that will keep us healthy during the months when our systems are naturally more vulnerable to illness.
And this is not just literal, but metaphorical as well…you do not need to be a gardener or home food preserver to feel the importance of this season…for it’s a time not only for nourishing ourselves physically, but for taking the time to make sure we’re feeling nourished on all levels.
Use the foods given to us with the harvest for building up your Qi
What we do now to build up our Qi, or energy, will pay off as the months pass by. Those who have abundant Qi are much less likely to suffer from colds as we enter cold and flu season. They are also much less likely to have the winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. They are likely to feel vigorous and energized and to have organs and tissues that are strong and function well.
So stay tuned to my updates over the next couple months…since this is the most important season for building Qi, this is the time of year when I put the most stress on how we can do just that. I will be sending out food recommendations, recipes, and many other tips for keeping your Qi strong and nourished.
But until then, I invite you to take a moment to ponder things that you can do to nourish yourself over the next couple months, that have nothing to do with food.
Perhaps getting a sitter for a couple hours so you can go to the bookstore or library and just peruse the books…or setting up a weekly time to go for a walk with a friend. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it does have to be something that nourishes your soul, and that GIVES you more energy than it takes!
And as always, Chinese medicine is here with its blend of acupuncture and herbs to help nourish and build you up as well.