Grounding in the Earth Element
July 30, 2012 § 2 Comments
Have you ever noticed that when you walk barefoot on the grass or in the sand, that you feel good, perhaps even more energized? That’s what noted physiologist, Dr. James Oschman proposes. He suggests that we literally need to connect with the ground in order to stay healthy because it appears to enhance the function and flow of body systems. His ideas on grounding harmonize with the Five Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
According to TCM theory, we are now transitioning from the summer season of the Fire Element (Heart and Small Intestine) into the short season of the Earth Element. The Earth Element represents the solid base in which we ground. Primarily, the Earth Element relates to the digestive system represented by the Spleen/Stomach organ and meridian systems.
A healthy digestive system allows the food we eat to be properly broken down for assimilation and distribution throughout the body and supports our immune system. It also helps us to build and maintain muscle tone. Three things that impact the health and function of the digestive system are our thoughts, our food choices, and our emotions. Since the gut is connected to the brain via neural pathways, stress can seriously derail the digestive system by speeding up or slowing down the digestive processes, leading to autointoxication or depletion.
According to TCM’s system of Facial Diagnosis, imbalances within the Spleen/Stomach meridian and organ system can show up in the face, especially around the eyes, as a yellowish hue (unrelated to jaundice). Or we may see signs in our muscles and soft tissue, like a loss of tone. Stiffness, pain, dry and cracked lips, an inability to tolerate humidity, and issues with compassion (showing too much or not enough), and obsessive thinking all indicate imbalances in the Earth Element, according to Elson Haas, M.D., who wrote the book, Staying Healthy with the Seasons. Dr. Haas recommends the following foods and herbs to support our digestive systems during the phase of the Earth Element:
• dandelion greens and endive to strengthen digestion
• a seed tea made of cardamom seed, anise, or fenugreek to cope with indigestion and gas
• fresh green juices like celery and parsley or romaine to calm the nerves
Many of the acupoints related to digestive system organs and meridians in TCM are found on the face and neck (Spleen/Stomach, Large Intestine/Small Intestine, and Liver/Gallbladder). In my clinical practice and skin care business we work with these meridian systems using the modern technology of microcurrent, LED color, and tourmaline gemstones to stimulate facial acupoints in order to tone facial muscles, smooth lines and wrinkles and increase circulation. The result is radiant skin and a sense of well-being related to balancing meridian systems. To further amplify these effects, we have incorporated additional acupoints found on the ear and body to address saggy skin, dark spots, wrinkles, and swelling. This unique, comprehensive holistic approach to facial rejuvenation really works.
As we move into the Earth Element phase, what positive steps will you take to support your health, beauty, and wellness?