Chinese medicine teaches us to live in harmony with the seasons. In Chinese medicine theory, there are five seasons- winter, spring, summer, late summer, and fall. Each season helps us to change our habits so that we may create more balance between the external environment and our bodies. The foods and lifestyles that follow the Chinese Medicine aid in keeping one healthy throughout the year and provides the tools to keep the immune systems and organs strong to ward off disease.
Late summer is considered one of the five major seasons in the East, according to the Five Element Theory. This ancient framework describes how we are influenced in mind, body, and spirit by different aspects of Nature. The energy of Late Summer corresponds to the nurturing Earth element. So, this is an important time for self-nurturing and self-cultivation.
The Stomach and the Spleen are the two organs associated with Late Summer. We rely on our digestive system for emotional and physical support. Keeping our Stomach and Spleen’s energy strong and balanced provides a solid foundation for lifelong mind, body, and spirit health.
Between 7 AM and 9 AM is the time in which nature gives the stomach a measure of extra energy and is the best time to take in nourishment. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it ends the fasting period our bodies experience while we sleep at night.
The Spleen according to Chinese medicine is the organ in charge of transporting. From 9 AM to 11 AM, the spleen is at optimum time of activity. Since the stomach has prepared the food, the spleen provides the energy to move nourishment to the cells and into the body.
A healthy Spleen not only nourishes us at the physical level but also reaches our minds and spirits. A spleen out of balance can result in physical and emotional issues such as sluggishness, selfishness, overthinking and stubbornness.
What to do during Late Summer:
Eat Seasonal Produce: Farmer’s markets are at peak in late summer, with produce (often organic) that is locally grown.
Nurture Yourself: Shower yourself with positive thoughts and self-love.
Connect to Nature: We are often so busy in our daily routines that we lose sight of our deep connection to Nature and Spirit; get outside an explore!
Worry less: Worry is the emotion that greatly impacts the function of the Stomach and Spleen. When you come to a worrisome situation, take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective.
What to eat:
Mushrooms (especially button mushrooms)
Dr. Jane Catania, DACM
Board Certified & Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist Trained in China & U.S.