The seasons in our lives closely mirror those in the physical world. Each of us begin as babies, then children, then move into teenage years and then, after a time as young adults, we typically look at parenthood and family building.
Infertility can be its own, very unwelcome season.
There is always balance possible, even with fertility challenges, regardless of the season or the actual physical problem. Making changes in our lifestyle can help shift imbalances back towards balance.
When turning to Chinese Medicine, instead of the usual set of four seasons, there are 5 seasons and 5 elements. Each of the 5 seasons corresponds to its own element (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). Late summer is often considered the fifth (Earth) season.
The Earth element is the center around which all seasons and elements orbit. Late summer is the pivot from the long, hot, yang days of summer (season of growth) into the cooler, more yin days of fall. It is a time of ripening and transforming as we prepare for the fall harvest.
The earth element’s corresponding organ is the spleen-stomach, which relates to our digestive system and our ability to transform food into nutrients and energy (Qi). A balanced spleen-stomach will manifest as an abundance of energy and strength, while a deficiency will result in fatigue, digestive complaints, weakness, and too much rumination or worrying. A balanced earth element allows us to process and “digest” not only our food but our emotions and experiences.
A few tips to promote balance in the energy of the earth element, the 5th season that is the late summer
- Enjoy seasonal lightly cooked foods, as opposed to raw, in small frequent meals.
- Eat slowly, chewing well with attention to the meal.
- Avoid highly processed foods and large rich meals and foods that are cold in temperature and nature.
In each season, take care of yourself. Make a decision to carve out the time and energy for that which nourishes your individual spirit, be it a walk in the woods, a yoga class or a warm bath.
As we enter into the next season, there’s more to learn about adapting and finding balance. The fertility acupuncturists at RMACT, including myself, Amy Matton, MSTOM, L.Ac., Elaine M. Malin, MTCM, L.Ac., and Melissa Morone Sommer, M.S., L.Ac. will share what the ancient form of Chinese Medicine has to offer for each season to come.
A graduate of Pacific College of Health and Science with a doctoral degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Dr. Matton is a licensed acupuncturist and certified herbalist. Her areas of expertise include women’s health and fertility issues, pain management, anxiety, stress, and adjunctive cancer care. In addition, Dr. Matton serves as Coordinator for Illume's Integrated Fertility & Wellness program.