Finding the Inner Center:
The Transformation Phase Earth

Slowly but surely the summer is coming to an end. Outside, we now enjoy the last warm sunshine that gives us the late summer. The harvest season is in full swing: the wide yellow fields are now harvested and the baskets are filled with ripe fruit and vegetables. A clear sign that now dominates the element of earth, because what started in the action phase wood and implemented in the transformation phase fire is now clearly bearing fruit. The element earth is assigned the color yellow, which is not only found in the mature cornfields, but also symbolizes the moist-loamy soil.

Transferred to the life cycle of the human being, the element earth stands for adulthood – also character is then matured, may even be father or mother and looks back on the past years reflected. At the organic level, the focus is now on the spleen and stomach. This functional circuit is also referred to as our center in TCM and is of central importance to us. Therefore, the associated organs should be maintained not only in late summer, but throughout the year. It is not by chance that the earth is also considered a so-called intermediate element, which, as a kind of transition between the other elements, can develop its harmonizing effect and consequently has a small share in each of the phases of transformation. In the acupuncture is sometimes even the opinion that every disease is based on a weakness of the center.

How important the element earth is to our health becomes clear when we take a closer look at the main task of the stomach / spleen functional circuit – digestion. This ensures that the ingested foods are separated into the nutritious and the undesirable. The reusable substance is then put into the nourishment of blood and qi. In an ascending motion, everything useful is sent to the lungs and heart, and all that is useless is transported in a descending motion towards the intestine and the bladder. The circulation of Qi is thus dependent on a healthy middle that nourishes the rest of the body. If the circulation slows down, it can cause indigestion, cravings, weight problems or a tendency to bruise.

Of course, these organic qualities can also be translated to the psyche. When the Earth element is well balanced, it enables clear thinking and the ability to separate the important from the unimportant.

Based on the five flavors, the element earth is sweetly assigned to the taste. This means especially the sweet-sweet foods like pears, apples, carrots, potatoes, spinach, almonds, chickpeas, squash, cinnamon or fennel. The sweet taste has a relaxing, harmonizing and moisturizing effect. On the other hand, if the foods contain a lot of refined sugar, the moisturizing effect is significantly increased – too much moisture then damages your health. We can not only positively influence our center through the diet, but also with enough exercise, mindfulness and enough breaks to breathe in between times.