Understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine + the Earth Element

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient practice that supports health and wellness, and believes in harmony between the opposing complementary forces of yin and yang. TCM also believes that the human body is a microcosm of the expansive universe around us. The five elements that appear in nature (fire, earth, wood, metal and water) also appear within us and represent all manners of life and explain the function of the body and how it changes during dis-ease. In TCM, disease is a result of a imbalance between yin and yang, and fluctuation of energy within the five elements. This vital energy that flows through the body is known as qi (CHI) and performs multiple functions in the body and helps maintain health. 

Each season corresponds with an element, just as we have different seasons in our own lives. The transitional time between summer and fall is known as late summer or the earth element. It is comprised of two meridians — stomach (yang) and spleen (yin). 

The earth meridians govern the muscle as it relates to our sense of strength and stamina. The stomach meridian travels from just below the eye through the front of our body, down through our quads and across the top of our feet to the second toe. It is tied to the action of seeing our goal in front of us and using those leg muscles to move us forward towards it, grab it, and draw it into our being. At times of imbalance, we can become "stuck in the mud” and not possess the inability to move forward in life.