The five elements of nature : wood, fire, earth,metal and water, are represented in our bodies and each have a virtue to teach us. The earth element teaches us about boundaries and limits, much like frontiers and border-lines. The stomach and spleen represent the earth in our body and are responsible for the integrity of our membranes and connective tissue as well as the sharpness and acuteness of our thinking process. Our ability to maintain and set healthy boundaries is nourished by the health of our digestive system. We may not understand all the details, but there is common understanding that too much worry or over thinking, can hurt the stomach, to the point of developing gastritis or even ulcers. These are physical manifestations of broken boundaries. Over thinking or obsessing over anything without resolution or completion, can actually cause the linings of our physical body to dissolve! Moderation with food and drink, and discipline of the mind are keys to maintaining a healthy earth element.
Some foods tend to be comforting to our earth (spleen, pancreas and stomach)- sweets, dairy, pastries and breads,and alcohol to name a few, have great potential to dampen our earth element, weakening our boundaries. This in turn, weakens our digestion. Weak digestion makes it is possible for conditions such as hernias, hemorrhoids, organ prolapses, nose bleeds, easy bruising, difficulty focusing, obsession and over thinking and excess worrying, to result in tremendous physical and mental fatigue. These issues can be the result of long term over-consumption of some of these dampening foods.
Acupuncture, together with dietary moderation are powerful ways to reestablish the integrity of organ membranes and sharpness of the mind. Next time you’re craving something you know you don’t need, think: Acupuncture.