Harvest in Late Summer

Here we are towards the end of summer. The fruits are all ripening ready for harvest. The summer flowers are getting tired or have finished after all their joyful splendour.  It always seems a shame that the school summer holidays are at the time when summer is past its height. When the children and families are free to have fun the energy is already changing. Although this time is important for providing the stability and rest to prepare families for the next academic year. And likewise for all of us to take stock.

Earth Element

The season of late summer is a truly transitional time. It is represented by the earth element. The earth element is about our foundation, grounding and stability. It is a time for pulling back under control the heightened energy and excesses of the summer months. It is a time to finalise projects and plans. To harvest and reap the rewards of all the energy that has been spent since the spring. This is the time that our energy starts sinking inwards again. We head back towards a place of balance. It is also a time for clearing out. Cleaning up after the summer’s excesses. Clearing out that which is no further use. Late summer is also about our relationships and our ability to give and receive.

There is a degree of earth element quality to be found at the transition between each element. We need to be grounded at times of change. However the late summer and late winter earth element seasons are the most significant. The organs supported by the earth element are Spleen/Pancreas and Stomach. Late summer is the time of Spleen and Pancreas. Late winter is the time for Stomach. The spleen and pancreas will be at their strongest at this time of year, this means that symptoms will show up if there is any compromise to these organs.

The Spleen is an important organ in the process of assimilation, it determines what is needed or appropriate from the food or experiences we take in. It also identifies that which is toxic or harmful to us and needs to be eliminated. This protective role also applies to the spleens function for our immune systems. The spleen programmes the white blood cells to increase our immunity, purifies the blood and recycles damaged red blood cells.

The Pancreas is an endocrine gland. It is responsible for the metabolism of sugars and the production of enzymes and other digestive juices. Its role is to break things down into manageable pieces and balance our chemistry.

The spleen/pancreas meridian runs from the big to, along the inside edge of the foot and up the inner edge of the leg. From the corner of the pubic bone it then runs diagonally across to the front of the armpit on the same side of the body. Then half way down the ribs under the arm.

How to support yourself in the season of late summer

This is a good time of year to consider what you are eating and drinking. It is normal over the holidays or when we are spending more time out socially to drink more alcohol, eat richer food or simply just eat processed food because of being out and about

  • Try to drink less alcohol, it’s full of sugar.
  • Eat similar foods cooked from fresh ingredients to reduce the number of chemicals you consume. Also cooking for your self is very grounding.
  • Make a note of how much sweet stuff you eat or drink through the day, including dried or fresh fruit, fruit juice or coffee with sugar or fizzy drinks. It can be easy to kid ourselves that we have less than we really do. This applies to what our children consume too.

It can be easy to remain stuck on the high of summers energy and demanding work projects but you have to come down sometime. It is better for it to be in a gentle nourishing and controlled way of your own choosing rather than to burn out and crash.

  • Try to give yourself enough time to relax and wind down.
  • Do some grounding activities like walking outdoors (go to the hills if you can), try yoga or tai chi.
  • Creating a bit more routine in our lives can also be grounding, nourishing and less stressful.

When we are busy we don’t have time to consider much about how we are or what we are doing. It is easy for the bigger picture to get overlooked. Sometimes it seems easier not to think about ourselves but keep our focus on other people or keeping busy. However in the end this does not lead balance, fulfilment or good health and well-being.

  • Do you have enough sweetness in your life? Where does your sweetness come from? Do you have a healthy relationship with sugar?
  • Are there aspects of your life that are toxic to you, to your mind, body or soul? Are you putting your detox/immune system under too much strain?
  • How is your digestion? Do you feel acidic after eating? How are you at breaking down problems into manageable parts?
  • How are your relationships? Do you find you have the same sort of issues, arguments or relationship breakdowns occurring with several people in your life? Take some time to consider the viewpoint that you hold and how from you past you have come to hold that viewpoint.

The muscles associated with the spleen/pancreas meridian are:

Latissimus dorsi- a large triangular back to shoulder used in most arm movements and for keeping the back straight. It is often involved in poor posture.

Middle and Lower Trapezius- another large back to shoulder muscle used in the movement of the shoulder blade. It can be involved in sore throats, infections and fevers.

Opponens Pollicis Longus- the two bulbous muscles of the palm of the hand that enable you to grip things. Weakness here can also lead to tennis elbow.

Triceps- the muscle at the back of the upper arm used for straightening the elbow.

If you feel your digestion has changed in the last week or so and you are feeling more acidic, it could well be that your spleen pancreas meridian is weak or your organs are feeling over loaded. If you feel that any of the things mentioned for this season relate to you we can address them during your treatments.