Is lack of nourishment causing you an imbalance?

Here in Ladakh the sun is shining bright almost daily in a perfect blue sky. Snow-capped peaks glisten in the distance, a reminder of the harsh reality of life here in a barren environment that is covered by snow for eight months of the year.

In this delicate ecosystem, frugality and working both in harmony with each other and the land are essential.

Surviving in this inhospitable region is in large part thanks to the little channels that distribute glacial meltwater around Leh. Thanks to these waters, people are able to cultivate their own foods, which grow abundantly thanks to this plentiful sunshine and the simple yet effective irrigation system. (My landlords grow all kinds of vegetables and the garden is blooming!)

The channels these weave all around Leh – along sides of roads, through gardens, under the roads. It’s a perfect exampe of a system that is so simple, yet so effective.

Channels are open or closed by re-positioning rags or bits of wood to alter the direction of flow. If someone needs water for their land, they divert the flow to their area by changing the barriers. Later in the day, someone else may re-route the water if they need it for their land. In this manner, everyone gets what they need.  

Energetic meridians

The channels also remind me of the channels of Ki (energy) that weave through our body. Fritz-Albert Popp created heatmaps of biophotons showing Ki flowing through meridians following a Shiatsu treatment. The red lines in the image below illustrate Ki flowing through Stomach and Spleen meridians on the legs.

The essentials of your Stomach and Spleen organs for health and vitality 

Similar to the channels here that carry life-giving water that makes the land possible to cultivate, the Stomach’s digestive tubes are designed “to convey food into our bodies or to allow nutrients to be absorbed”.

Food and drink is transported downwards to the Stomach which works with the Spleen to extract nourishment and deliver it around the body.

The Stomach in Traditional Chinese Medicine is considered to be one of the most important Yang organs…If the Stomach is weak, all the other organs are weak.*

In Five Element Theory, late summer is the time of Earth Element, which involves the Stomach and Spleen organs and they embody our ability to receive, process and give out again physical, emotional and intellectual, nourishment.

The Stomach Organ is like a bakery, receiving the various ingredients and, if blended and baked properly, will make a delicious cake. The Spleen is like a fleet of trucks, working 24/7, that transport the cakes to the consumers. (Source)

If the bakery (the Stomach) doesn’t get quality ingredients, and at the right time, cakes will not be produced, and so the trucks (the Spleen) will not have much to distribute. The result is an Earth imbalance.

Feeling cold, weak or anxious? You may be Qi Deficient. Cold hands and feet are signs that energy is not being sufficiently distributed to the extremities. As the muscles are not receiving what they need, they may feel weak and generally lethargic.

Craving sweet things or alcohol? The body burns refined sugars more quickly which creates imbalance as it sets up a pattern of craving more sweetness. This creates restlessness which worsens the imbalance.

How to address an Earth imbalance

Breakfast is essential. The Chinese Clock defines 7-11am as Earth time; Stomach is 7-9am and Spleen is 9-11am. “This implies our digestive capacity is greatest in the morning.”*

If your breakfast ‘nourishment’ comprises a slice of toast and a coffee or tea (as mine did for many years) consider swapping for some wholegrain cereal and fruit. It really transformed my energy levels and mental clarity.

Grains and root vegetables are the best nourishment during late summer. Look for yellow and orange foods – the natural sugars of these fruit and vegetables burn at a slower rate to provide long-lasting physical energy. “This is the balanced, reliable sweetness of Earth.”*

Here is Earth element in balance.

“When in balance, we can give what is needed without sacrificing ourselves. We know when to care and listen, and how to help ourselves and others from a place of inner peace and harmony. When the earth within us is secure, we can nourish others and ourselves with patience, love, joy and calm restfulness.”**

Chinese Medicine proposes that we will feel our best if we live according to the seasons. In late summer, it is the Earth element that is the most active and also the most vulnerable. With appropriate diet and lifestyle adjustments, we can cultivate a healthy Earth element, a strong gut and optimise our immune system. (Source)

shiatsu reiki acupressure


5 tips for a healthy and abundant late summer


  * Carola Beresford Cooke, “Shiatsu Theory & Practice”, Third edition, 2016

** Debra Kaatz – Characters of Wisdom, 2001, Earth chapter

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About Me

I founded SJA Holistics to help people get well, feel great, and stay well using the power of practices derived from Eastern Medicine including Shiatsu, Reiki, Acupressure and Qi Gong.

For over a decade I’ve worked with Ki and have first-hand experience of how energy- and body-work can lead to positive health. Working with the energy body as well as the physical can bring profound changes to mental, emotional and physical issues.

After completing three years of study for the Professional Shiatsu Diploma, I honed my experience working voluntarily for six months in a national UK charity giving Shiatsu to people recovering from substance misuse.

It is my mission to help you recognise your own self-healing ability and to empower you with the skills and knowledge you need to dramatically improve your self-care.

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We create your current health picture. Then we get clear on your goals so that we are aligned from the outset. This makes it easier to monitor progress.

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Intelligent Energy

Every one of us has a universal energy, also known as lifeforce, chi, prana and Ki, that underpins our whole existence, and within that, our health. Stimulating the flow of Ki is how you can get well, feel great and stay well.

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