Stay Centered and Healthy in Late Summer

By Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L
Originally published on on August 21, 2016

Read the original article or download this article as a PDF.

When I began exploring the world of holistic health and preventative care to find natural and holistic ways to keep people well and prevent illness, I began taking classes in something called Medical QiGong. It taught me how to connect to and move my energy.

Through meditation I learned how to provide Qi Emission or Energy Healing to others through the energy channels found in acupuncture.

QiGong means energy movement, and the basic premise is that our “Qi” or vital life force needs to be flowing well to be well. It is like a river of energy running through and around us. If it becomes stuck or excessive we can become unwell. QiGong is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine that many acupuncturists practice. You can learn how to move your own energy to stay well, recover, or prevent imbalances or illness.

During this time, I was introduced to a wonderful book, Staying Healthy with the Seasons by Elson M. Haas, M.D. I continue to reference it to this day, and recommend it to my students who take my classes. This book is largely based on how interconnected we are to nature, and how the climate, environment, light, temperature and more can affect our health and healing.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a theory that there are 5 elements that influence us internally and externally, and each element corresponds to a season. They are Spring – Wood, Summer – Fire, Late Summer – Earth, Autumn – Metal, and Winder – Water.

One creates the next and they assist to balance each other.

Late Summer is the time of transition between Summer and Autumn. In Chinese 5 Element Theory it relates to the energy of the Earth and your physical body. All other Elements come from and can be felt in the Earth Element. So, it is very important to be aware of how your Earth Element and body is functioning for you.

This time of year, the Earth Element is evident with the abundance of the bounty and harvest all around us.

This is a wonderful time to enjoy the fruits of your labor literally, if you have a garden, or figuratively if you have areas of your life you have been tending. You can sit back and enjoy!

Home, Center, and The Body are aspects governed by the Earth Element. If you do not feel at home with yourself, at ease, centered, grounded, or have difficulty taking in nourishment from food and drink, or from life itself you may want to consider looking at ways to balance your Earth Element. Being able to be and feel nourished demonstrates a more balanced and harmonious Earth Element.

The energy of the internal organs Stomach and Spleen correspond to Late Summer and the Earth Element. Their energy pathways or meridians, seen in an acupuncture chart, may indicate how your Earth Element is functioning.

Questions to Reflect Upon

 What tastes sweet in your life/goals?

 Is it time for the harvest or do you need to let things develop a little longer?

 Do you need more steam for your goals, or is fog hampering your progress?

 What can you let go of to allow you to have more personal power in your life?

 Do you need more power/movement or do you need stillness and patience?

Finding your Center

Finding a way to center oneself is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Everyone finds his or her way with how to become centered. Being centered is being in contact with yourself and grounded to the Earth and aligned with the Sky or Heavens. Relaxation (see Power of the Mind in Healing) is key to centering. Once you are more practiced at it, you can connect with it more readily. Being able to lower the logical, thinking, planning, worrying mind can assist you to connect with your more naturally intuitive mind that is happy to just be.

15 Ways to Connect to Your Center

 Breathe

 Yoga

 QiGong – this meditation will help you connect to your center.

 T’ai Chi

 Listen to your favorite music

 Meditate

 Pray

 Garden

 Spend time in nature

 Aromatherapy

 Relax and Laugh with friends or family

 Eat or share a nutritious family with friends or family

 Receive a massage, acupressure, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy or some form of bodywork

 Get/Give a Hug

 Rest. Lie in the grass and soak up the earth’s energy while gazing up at the lazy, ever-changing clouds, drifting in the sky.

What are other ways you can think of to connect with your center?

It’s always best to consult with your primary care provider before making any changes to your health care routines.