The hot days of summer are winding down. The flowers are fading and the leaves are starting to brown as we prepare for the return to school and work. In Chinese medicine theory, this time of year is known as the Earth element. The season of harvest. Earth element is the transition from yang to yin. We can think of it as a long golden beach, nurturing relationships with family and friends. Time to be still and nourish our body – mind.

The Eastern systems take seasonal changes as an opportunity to adjust to the natural rhythms to better health. If we look at natures patterns we can learn from them, the effortless rhythm and flow of the earths cycles cultivates balance all year long. Making adjustments as the seasons change will contribute to a healthy immune function in Autumn. At this time we can support the body – mind with Reflexology, nutritional therapy and other restorative practices.

Top tips for nourishing ourselves through late summer

Reflexology helps our body – mind move effortlessly with seasonal changes.
The transition from summer to Autumn can be tough, and some people dread this time of year. Resistance to the changing seasons can cause stagnation in the body and weaken the immune system.

Reflexology is an ancient healing art based on the principle of Traditional Chinese medicine, which is based on the idea if Qi (a persons life force energy) Qi flows through every part of us, and all around us. In the body it flows through energy pathways or channels, and through meridians. When this energy is strong and flowing as it should, we will feel well emotionally and physically well, with good digestive function. If our life force energy is depleted, or if the flow is disrupted by ‘congestion’ or ‘energy blocks’, we might feel weakness or fatigue, experience digestive issues or other symptoms within the body.

Nourishing diet. As summer draws to a close, it’s time to reduce consumption of raw and cold foods. Creating warmth in the Earth centre is important. Include warm, cooked meals, sweet flavours of root veg – particularly yellow and orange variety. Wholegrains like brown rice and millet. Aromatic warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cayenne and fennel. Indulge in the fruits and veggies in season now.

Congee is one of my favourite recipes that can be enjoyed at any time of day. Highly nourishing and healing, particularly if you’re struggling with digestive issues right now. Look out for my recipe on Social media coming soon!

Find your centre. The Earth element is all about stability, nurturance and caregiving. Make time for activities and practices that keep you centred and grounded. Sea swimming and walking bare feet on the earth have become some of my favourite things to do during the warmer weather, I can feel the benefit immediately! Consider Yoga,Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Focus on what nourishes you.

Create boundaries and be mindful about what you mentally ingest. This is a perfect time of year to think about our relationship to social media and the people around us. Notice how situations make you feel. Stress can deplete our energy, digestive and immune function.

Late summer associations in Chinese medicine

Element : Earth. Yin organ : Spleen. Yang organ : Stomach. Emotion : Worry. Sprit : Yi (intellect). Colour : yellow. Taste : sweet. Values : nurturing / Empathy.