The days are getting shorter, and we are a few days away from the Autumn Equinox. In Chinese Medicine this a phase called Late-Summer, a unpredictable time of Yin-Yang transformation that can linger into October, depending on where you live. The energy is to transform worry and doubt to trust and stability. It is the Earth element in full effect.
I hope you find this information useful to give yourself healing, self love and self care. It is time to change your diet and rituals to support the season and tune into the rhythms of the season.
My friend Marisa from YoQI shared this from her blog. She offers wonderful wisdom about Qi-Gong and Chinese Medicine. You can check out her videos on YouTube and it is my hope that it starts your practice of Qi-Gong.
MYSTERIOUS MOTHER EARTH
Around the world, Late-Summer is called by many names. In Eastern European, Slavic, Germanic and Nordic countries it is known as Grandmother’s Summer or Old woman’s summer. In the USA we call it Indian Summer. In Chinese, Late-Summer season is called “The Old Tiger of Autumn” (Qiu Lao Hu 秋老虎). During this time of transition, the weather is unpredictable; the days are hot or humid and the nights are cold. It’s as if Old Mother Earth doesn’t want to surrender to her death just yet. She gives us one last burst of her power, bright colors and harvest.
At the center of this changing period, the Earth Phase reminds us to trust in our nourishing connection to Source. It’s is a time to take care of ourselves and others in a balanced way. Qigong exercises for this period focus on nourishing the Stomach and Spleen, centering, grounding, balancing the Five Elements and connecting to the Three Forces: Heaven, Earth and Humanity.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Spleen is the main Earth organ of utmost importance. Not only does it play a role in our immune system, blood filtration and digestion, energetically it is the center of our stability and supports our mental clarity. Poor diet, excessive stress, worry or neglect of the body can weaken the Spleen and lead to digestive issues, weight management challenges, fatigue, nausea, body aches and self-doubt to name a few.
As the largest lymphatic organ, the Spleen helps to fight infection. But the spleen is a passive defense system; it wants “love not war”. Like a protective mother, this is an organ that responds very well to empathy and understanding. It is said in Chinese Medicine, when you support the Spleen, the Spleen will support you.
The Spleen works with the Stomach to transform the food we eat into Qi. This is a process of digestive alchemy that requires heat. For centuries yogis and Daoists have understood the importance of a healthy digestive system. They developed practices to ignite the digestive fire in the Lower Dantian to activate the Qi, clear impurities, and stimulate digestion, assimilation and elimination.
The main pathology of Late-Summer is damp heat in the Spleen. Symptoms include headaches, body aches, nausea and fatigue. So is also important to pay extra attention to your diet. Avoid very cold and damp forming foods such as too much raw food, iced drinks, bananas, avocado, fried fatty meats, processed foods and dairy. Start to incorporate live foods, fermented foods, nourishing broths, ginger tea, legumes, whole grains, seeds and bitter, pungent, aromatic spices to nourish the spleen and avoid dampness.
Life is in a constant state of flux and evolution. If we are not evolving or if we are feeling “stuck in the mud”, a great way to transform this state is to give the spleen a massage, a big hug and a smile.
Late Summer’s earth frequency supports our ability to integrate life experiences and ground them in the body. We not only take in nourishment from food, we take in nourishment from every aspect of life; relationships, experiences, joyful expression, nature, and Source energy.
The Spleen and Stomach respond to your thoughts instantly! They are more affected by your ideas, beliefs and intentions than any other organs. This is because the spirit of the Spleen is the Yi, consciousness (also called the Intention Mind or Intellect). The Yi is consciousness, but more than that it the consciousness that makes discerning decisions to change the course of your life each day. Practices that support the Yi train the mind to stay focused and rooted in the body. When you are centered you can move through life with stability no matter what is going on around you.