In the Northern Hemisphere, we are now entering late summer, or the in-between season, before autumn starts. In the five-element theory of healing, this is associated with the Earth Element. This time is the peak of harvest for plants, the time of ripening of fruit and grains and when the energy starts to wane, becoming cooler in the evenings, and a when the first golden leaves start to appear on the trees. Days and nights are nearly equal in length. The climate is perfect – neither too hot nor too cold, neither to wet nor too dry.
The Earth Element symbolizes balance. Earth represents mid-life, mature adulthood. It is center of the mandala or medicine wheel, the point where we stand looking out at the four cardinal directions. Earth phase corresponds to the center, the middle, the point of balance between Yang and Yin, Earth energy is stable, giving us a firm center and a grounding presence.
There are many different aspects of the Earth Element let’s start with the beautiful bright yellow or amber color. Amber color is similar in color to the golden grain right before harvest, and similar to dried sap from a tree. Both have a very sweet and grounding scent.
The earth element also has a very powerful effect on the digestive process, this element is connected with the internal organs of the stomach, spleen and pancreas. If the Earth element is out of balance, we may be prone to digestive disorders - as well as illness in any other organ or function of the body, we are dependent on the stomach and spleen for transportation of nourishment.
The Earth energy is ALL about grounding and centering.
To ground means you are centered and clear. Envision your legs as tree trunks rooted to the Earth Mother. Your feet and legs are your grounding cords or your “roots”. Like a plant’s root system, you also have a grounding cord stabilizes you, so that whatever happens in the world around you, you aren’t carried away. You can remain stable in the calm energy of the Earth.
Abdominal breathing is also very effective way to stabilize.
A relaxation response is created when we relax our abdomen and pelvic diaphragm, draw in a deep belly breath; allowing the breath to fill the lungs from the bottom to the top of the thorax while expanding the belly and chest in a coordinated sequence, this process creates parasympathetic nervous system toning. This type of breathing is called the relaxing breath, or the calming breath. It is best to keep your focus and attention on your belly while you breathe.
There are many wonderful essential oils associated with the earth element.
EARTH – Spleen/ Pancreas/ Stomach – This element nourishes the muscles. To activate grounding and centering move your body!
Virtues: Centered, openness, balance, and grounded.
Emotional Imbalances: worry and sympathy.
EARTH ESSENTIAL OILS are sweet, warming and earthy with a deep rich scent.
These essential oils provide calming, centering, reassuring and regulating qualities.
Benzoin (Styrax benzoin) Qualities are warming, increases immunity, and energy for the Stomach and Spleen, clears phlegm, and calms nerves and mind.
Davana (Artemisia pallens) Qualities are sweet and warming, increases immunity, clears internal dampness, calming to nerves and mind.
Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) Cooling, calming for the mind and emotions.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) Clears heat, tonifies yin, increases immunity and digestive energy, calms nerves and mind.
Earth Element Carrier Oils
Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)
High in vitamins A, E, C and minerals. Moisturizing, nourishing, and revitalizing to the skin. Used for skin care used for aged, sensitive, dry, and inflamed skin.
Almond, sweet (Prunus amygdalus var. dulcis)
Balances all elements
Contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E. Clear, light and almost odorless oil that absorbs quickly. All around use for skin care and massage. As well as chapped, dry and irritated skin. Not recommended for those with nut allergies.
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
Antibacterial and highly penetrating to the skin. It is odorless, and closely matches the oil secreted by the human skin. Also used for acne, eczema and sensitive skin and other skin disorders.
Recommended Aromatherapy Applications
Topical blends: Apply directly in the navel, abdomen, lower back, and on the acupressure points listed below.
Suggested Earth Element Aromatherapy Blend for Topical Application:
In 1 oz. bottle add:
3 drops Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
3 drops Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)
3 drops Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
You can use this blend in a massage, bath, shower salt scrub, or just add the essential oils in an aroma stick (nasal inhaler).
Shower salt scrub: Stir 3-6 drops of essential oils into 2 TBSP of carrier oil, and then add to ½ cup fine grain Dead Sea salts. Use in a dry shower applying in long smooth motions towards the left subclavian vein (upper chest).
These acupressure points are very useful as an adjunct therapy with an aromatherapy blend for calming, centering and grounding.
Stimulate the acupressure point - STOMACH 36
Harmonizes the stomach, fortifies spleen, and resolves dampness. Tonifies Qi (chi) and nourishes blood and yin. Calms fire and calms the spirit.
Location: Three fingers width below the lateral aspect of the knee, between the tibia and fibula. Stimulate on both legs.
Stimulate the acupressure point - SPLEEN 3
Tonifies the spleen and resolves dampness and damp-heat and regulates Qi (chi). Stimulate the point on both feet.
Location: On the medial arch of the foot, in the depression located by sliding the fingertip proximally over the side of the ball of the foot.
Stimulate the acupressure point - KIDNEY 1
This is the only acupuncture point located on the bottom of the foot and therefore the lowest point on the body. This is a fantastic grounding point! It is a powerful point that descends energy from the head and upper body. It can reduce agitation, anxiety, headaches, hot flashes, and insomnia. Promotes calming, centering and grounding.
Stimulate the point on both feet.
Location: On the sole, in the depression when the foot is in plantar flexion.
May you experience the calm, centered, and grounded nature of the Earth Element!