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Summer from a TCM Perspective

Let’s talk about late summer – from an acupuncturist’s view.

The season of the late summer is the time of the stomach and spleen. The summer season actually belongs to the heart, heart and small intestine, the late summer which is that hazy time between summer and autumn. It’s that time when yin and yang feel really balanced. When it’s not too hot, it’s not cold yet, there’s a slight crispness in the air early morning and late evening. It’s a time of perfect balance at the end of summer, and it’s also the harvest time, suggesting that there’s a sense of abundance. You’ll notice, there’s an abundance of food ripening, quite literally one the vine. This is when the earth element is at its peak.

The fascinating thing about the earth element is that it also has a season in between every other season. There’s a little window in between every season where we have ‘late summer’ again, even in-between winter and spring, in between spring and summer, definitely in-between summer and autumn and in between autumn and winter as well. These are little windows in-between every season which are known as late summer, or earth season are times of balance.

This time between seasons is a time of everything coming back to the core – all of your energies coming back into the center, grounding, rebalancing and then ready to go again into a new season which has new opportunities and new challenges. At the time of writing we’re in the earth element now, we’re crossing over from spring into summer. So this is a perfect opportunity for you to come back to your center, spend a little bit of time regrouping, grounding and preparing for what’s coming next in the summer months. When we do this, we give our body an abundance of energy again to work with and do whatever it needs to do to balance itself in the next season. There’s nothing for you to do, just come back to ground zero and give your body a rest. Get grounded in nature, rest up and your body does what it knows it needs to do with the energy. Your acupuncturist will also be able to treat these organs and maximise your ability to recharge these organs in their horary time.

If you are an Earth element constitutional type you can also receive treatment on the Stomach and spleen during their horary time of day. Receiving treatment between 7am and 11 am is the best time to treat these organs. Each organ has its own time of day where it’s at its strongest. The time of day for the Earth element, Stomach and Spleen, is 7-9am, and 9-11am. The old housewife tale says eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper. This is true because the chi is the strongest in the digestive system in the stomach between 7:00 and 9:00AM, and in the spleen between 9:00 and 11:00AM. Eating your biggest meal of the day between these times means you’re going to have optimum digestion, and your body is going to be able to take the most chi from the food and transform it to give your body the most energy available. Eating your biggest meals at the opposite times will have the opposite effect, as there’s the least amount of chi in the digestive system 12 hours later. So between 7:00AM and 11:00AM is when we’ve got the most chi in the digestive system, and then 12 hours later, between 7:00PM and 11:00PM we’ve got the least.

If you want to learn what your element constitutional type is, come on in to my office on W. 2nd Street in Duluth, MN! I may be able to shed some light on this for you.

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