Late Summer: The “5th” Season in Chinese Medicine

Hello everyone.

The hustle and bustle of early summer is coming to a calm, the crickets are chirping quietly in a still night, and we are entering into a much more grounded season that in traditional Chinese medicine like to call, “Late Summer.”

Late summer is associated with the Earth Element.
The earth element also applies to all periods of transition between seasons, but is predominantly more apparent during this time of the year
The Earth element rules the spleen as well as the stomach.

The key function of the spleen and stomach is transformation, transportation, containing, and nourishment through the qi and blood.
The Spleen is also responsible for holding all the organs and blood in its proper place as well as providing muscle health.

On a spiritual level, the Spleen houses the “Yi”-the intent and intellect.
Much like the physical function, when your Yi is healthy it shows a clear transformation, transportation, and containment of your thoughts, ideas, and memories.

When our spleen or yi is unhealthy, there is a disturbance to this flow.
We may develop digestive issues such as bowel irregularities, blood problems.
Other physical symptoms of spleen issues include excessive phlegm/mucus, muscle fatigue and weakness,
pale mouth and lips, poor appetite, gas, bloating, abdominal distention, lethargy.

You may also experience block of flow of the thoughts leading to rumination, overthinking and excessive worrying,
rather than digesting experiences into something nourishing for ourselves.

We hope you can take this late summer to nourish yourself with good harvest from perhaps your garden or the Farmer’s Market.
And to nourish your spirit by relaxing outside enjoying the last bits of the warm weather.
When we take our time to care for ourselves and find grounding, we can extend that same good energy to others in a healthy way.

Have a great rest of the summer!


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