Earth Element


Yang - stomach

The spleen and pancreas are considered a single organ in oriental medicine and are the yin storage organs of the earth element. The spleen produces and stores red and white blood cells for circulation and the pancreas produces enzymes to aid digestion and hormones to regulate blood sugar.

The stomach is the yang drainage organ and it is meant to have periods of emptiness! Although there is no physical connection between the spleen and the stomach there is a closer association between the pancreas and stomach as both these organs release enzymes that help digestion.

If you have a problem with one of your these organs you may see yellow markings on your skin, yellow discharges or as dandruff. While white dandruff tends to be caused by a metal organ imbalance instead. When the whites of your eyes become tinged with yellow it usually indicates jaundice (liver) but look at the spleen as well.

If your earth organs are weak you can become anxious, and anxiety itself can further weaken them causing a spiral of increasing apprehension. You may also notice that someone with weak earth organs can appear to have an overly sympathetic response and concern regarding any situation. Either way you may detect a singsong inflection in the voice similar to the Welsh pronunciation but without the joy behind it.

Anxiety and stress may be caused by many situations such as your work, finances and worry about family members. There are also less noticeable ones like food sensitivities, pollution in the environment and geopathic stress from under ground streams, ley lines, computer, mobile phones and electric pylons. All of these can initiate a release of adrenaline, which causes a fight / flight response making you feel even more stressed and anxious.

The adrenaline prepares the body to stand and fight or for flight so energy is transferred to the heart, lungs and muscles from the digestive and eliminatory organs. After the emergency, noradrenaline is released to enable the body to revert to its normal state. If the stress levels are maintained the body does not have the chance to return to normal. Ongoing stress can slow down the digestive system, affect the stomach and depress the appetite. The immune system also comes under pressure making the person more susceptible to infections as the white cells from the spleen are weakened.

Identifying and dealing with the stress is extremely important and strengthening your earth organs will help in the healing process. When these organs are strong you will feel more sympathetic and tolerant. During any therapy that allows you to relax, such as reflexology or a massage, you may hear gurgling in your stomach as it relaxes and the digestive juices start to flow more freely. The lips and surrounding area reflects what is happening in your stomach. This may be in the form of sores and cracks, which can appear when there has been a change of diet that affects the stomach lining. Generally the condition of the earth organs is reflected on the right cheek.

The earth organs relate to the state of your flesh, connective tissue and limbs. By strengthening your stomach and spleen you could help problems such as arthritis and strains. You could also stimulate the acupuncture point Stomach 36 by the outside of the knee as it is excellent for all limb problems. In acupuncture there are four acupuncture points called the 'seas of energy' which help to restore the body's energy. These are found on the stomach, gall bladder and central meridians. The stomach 36 point is also a 'sea of energy' point so you would be helping the limbs and improving your energy level at the same time.

When one or more of your earth organs are under stress you may notice a sweet taste in your mouth or notice a sweet body odour. In order to help strengthen them try eating naturally salty foods such as celery and lentils.

The organs are re-energised in the late summer, from approximately July 19th to September 19th, so will be weakest in June and July. They are affected by damp weather and when there is a late damp end to the summer, as so often happens in England, the spleen comes under more stress. This can compromise your immune system and make you more prone to allergies and infections, leading to conditions such as flu and asthma / eczema during October. So you would do well to take more care during harvest time and around the autumn equinox to improve your immune system for the on-coming winter

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