Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teaches us about the interconnectedness of our bodies and the environment and how living in harmony with our environment promotes our health.
The theory of the Five Elements shows connections between seasons, elements, our bodies, and emotions. Late Summer is one of five seasons understood by TCM. Late summer begins in late August and lasts through the Autumn equinox in late September.
Late Summer is the season of the Earth element—lush, grounded, and nurturing, it is the time of harvest. It is a time for slowing down, so it makes sense that this is when many people take their vacation.
If you are in balance, this is a time of contentment, rest, and nurturing. If your body is out of balance, you may experience fatigue or pensive worry.
In the body, the Earth element is associated with the organs of the stomach and spleen. Like harvest time, food is “ripened” in the stomach and the spleen and pancreas help the body to “harvest” the nutrients and transform them into muscle and blood.
How can you nourish your body in the Late Summer?
- Begin to eat more cooked foods than the raw foods of summer, for example, soups and steamed vegetables, rather than raw vegetables.
- Eat yellow-orange foods like sweet potatoes, millet, pumpkin, chicken, turkey, clarified butter, peaches, papaya, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Support digestion by eating slowly and peacefully and eating smaller, more frequent meals.
- Earth energy thrives on routines. Take time to plan and implement simple, nourishing routines for yourself, if your life has become too hectic. Perhaps add a simple yoga routine to your morning or evening, which settles the nervous system.
- Think of relaxing ways to nourish your friends and family.
If you need more support to become in balance, make an appointment for acupuncture which eliminates anxiety, alleviates pain, and promotes a feeling of calm and confidence.
Enjoy your nourishing late summer days!