In Chinese medicine there are five rather than four seasons. The additional season is late summer and it comes between full summer and autumn. It is the time of year when the harvest is ripe and ready to be gathered. Perhaps for this reason it is associated with the Earth element. Harvest time represents the culmination of all the work that has gone on from the springtime when the crops are first planted, through the summer when they slowly mature. This time of harvest is a critical one. A crop failure can have disastrous results.
This analogy of the harvest can be applied to each one of us. Do we have a sense of reaping and gathering in different aspects of our lives? Is this sense of fulfillment and bounty present in our friendships and close relationships? Is it present in our work? Just as the failure of crops on a physical level cause great distress, so a lack of harvest in other areas of our lives can be devastating.
The Five Element tradition focuses on evaluating and treating this deeper aspect of each patient. Treatment can help to bring that sense of fulfillment and completion which can so often be lacking in our lives. There are many points that can be used to help bring a sense of richness and nourishment, one is the point Abundant Splendor.
The Earth Element
The Earth element also represents the neutral point that is present in any transition. It is the pause that creates space, support and stability for the transformation to occur. This season is a pivotal time of year because of the energies which have been building and expanding (this is called yang in Chinese terminology) during the spring and summer are now preparing to contract and move inward (called yin in Chinese terminology) during the autumn and winter. If we are too exhausted by the excesses of summer, we may have difficulty making this transition easily. Already we are seeing some flus and coughs with our patients. It is a good time to come in and have a maintainence treatment to give support during this difficult seasonal transition.
Along with the seasonal transition, it is beneficial to adjust one's diet as the season changes. We move from the cooler foods of the summer months to more warming and building foods that are appropriate as the days are shorter and the nights are cooler. In practical terms, this will mean more protein foods including beans and grains along with vegetables and cooked greens.The foods that have the predominant quality of Earth are naturally sweet like yams and winter squashes including sweet pumpkin, millet is the grain that contains a lot of the Earth quality, and apples along with the melons, grapes, dates, figs all have a predominance of Earth. Ideally we should eat a variety of foods, but can draw a little more from those that have the energy of the season. Please pick up a copy of suggested recipes emphasizing the Earth element available at the office.
This point is on the stomach meridian, which is associated with the earth element. The name describes the power that can be drawn on. The evocation or richness, of splendor and of plenty which is embodied in the point's name. There is a glowing quality which suffuses the name and surrounds it with a kind of radiance, and it is precisely this effect this point will have on a patient's chi. The sense of plenty and the lack of anxiety over provision for the future which this point confers, gives it a significance as a reservoir of energy for the Earth element. Using this point is like tapping into a source of energy of the meridian and letting its splendor and richness infuse and revitalize it.