The Earth Element: Spleen and Stomach!

Posted: August 23, 2018

Recent research demonstrates that connecting with others and living a life with meaning and purpose is good for your health! (see article link below) Markers for a host of chronic conditions were found to be higher in those focused on self-development and creating the best life for themselves when compared with those whose lives are focused on improving the lives of others.  This finding immediately reminded me of the dynamic of the Earth element, which is to extend out and take in energy. Balanced giving and receiving of care is essential to the function of qi in the Spleen and Stomach meridians that express the energetics of Earth. Excessive focus on the self or an inability to take care of one’s personal needs reflect an Earth imbalance.

Spleen energy ensures the extraction of nutrients from the food we digest, as well as our absorption of useful information.  Full-time students often have depleted Spleen qi as they spend hours each day integrating large amounts of information. Worry or rumination are sign of mental or emotional inability to fully process ideas and move onto a new idea or action, as opposed to the effective synthesis of information into useful knowledge.  Alternating constipation and diarrhea, damp conditions like edema and the feeling of a heavy head or limbs, and fatigue show up when Spleen qi is weak. Emaciation and obesity are also signals of Spleen qi inadequately distributing nutrients.

Stomach energy is essential for moving blood and qi through the body.  Physical warmth and energy; strong and flexible muscles; an ability to maintain routines and regularity, and the feeling of being grounded and at “home” in one’s body, are all gifts of balanced Stomach qi.  Reflux, cold or aching muscles, or a lack of motivation can each be signs of poorly moving Stomach qi.

Volunteering or focusing your energy on relationships and activities that benefit others are effective ways to support the movement of Spleen and Stomach qi, or energies.  What activities keep YOU grounded and at home in YOUR body?

McTaggart, Lynne. Why We Shouldn’t Have a Self-help Movement. July 2018. Read the Article Here