Ahh, summer... time for long, sunny days, warm weather, and brightly-blooming gardens. But the season is also significant in another way. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the body’s Organ systems are most accessible during specific times of year. During the late summer, the Spleen and Stomach are most active and most open to influence both positive and negative.
The Spleen and Stomach are associated with the Earth element, as well as certain colors, sounds, times of day, and other correspondences. The Earth element is related to security, feeling grounded and the natural rhythms of life.
The Spleen performs many functions, including:
•Transforming food and fluids into energy
•Transporting energy to muscles, flesh and limbs
•Ensuring that blood circulates throughout the body
•Producing a “lifting” effect, keeping the internal organs in place
•Governing our capacity for thinking and concentration
The Stomach is paired with the Spleen, and helps to digest food and transform it into energy. When the Spleen and Stomach are in balance and Qi (“life energy”) is flowing freely through them, the body will have physical energy and vitality, good muscle tone, a healthy appetite and good digestion. The Spleen and Stomach can be affected by many factors, including poor diet and eating habits, lack of exercise, excessive concentration, worry and stress.
Symptoms of imbalance in the Spleen/Stomach organs. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to consider setting up an appointment.
•Fatigue or lethargy
•Nausea or vomiting
•Hiccups or belching
•Change in appetite
•Bloating and water retention
•Weakness in the arms, legs or muscles
•Dry, pale lips
•Worry and negative thoughts
Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms, the summer is an especially good time to receive preventive acupuncture care. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine provide a natural approach to restoring and maintaining balance. When we strive for optimal balance, we achieve good health throughout the year.
By allowing Qi to flow freely, acupuncture can help your body heal itself and help you make the most of all the energy and fun of summer!
What Good Smells Do
Think about your favorite scent for a moment. How does it make you feel? Happy? Relaxed? You probably already know that aromas can have a major impact on your mood. Aromatherapy takes this a step further and uses scents to affect a person’s physical and mental health and well-being.
Aromatherapy is a natural treatment system based on the use of aromatic essential oils. Essential oils are extracted from flowers, fruits, leaves, bark, and roots by methods such as steam distillation. Specific oils are used based on each individual’s needs. He or she may dilute these essential oils and massage them into the skin, put them in diffusers so that the vapors can be inhaled, or prepare them in a solution designed for ingestion.
Essential oils that support the Spleen and Stomach include:
Coriander: Helps circulate energy in the stomach; good for exhaustion and nervous depression.
Fennel: Regulates appetite and relieves indigestion.
Lemon: Helps control weight, supports the immune system, and strengthens mental faculties.
Ginger: Helps relieve nausea and painful digestion.
Bitter Orange: Regulates Qi in the Spleen and Stomach.
Black Pepper: Increases red blood cell production.