The earth element in Shiatsu corresponds to the transitioning period between the seasons. It is also described as the time of late summer between the transitioning from the yang summer energy to the more yin energy of the fall. It is the time of harvest and of fertility. Time for nourishment and harmony. The earth element brings you back to the ground. It brings you to your center and houses the intellectual and practical energy. It enables us to have opinions and to learn from our environment. Earth is the bringer of life and mother of all beings. Compassion and being able to have empathy for others are key aspects. Nourishment and balance. It is the ability to think and to ponder but it can become excessive and this can be damaging. The earth element is all encompassing as it is part of all transitions in the elements and thus if the earth element is in balance, it can help all other elements as well.
THE EARTH MERIDIANS – SPLEEN / STOMACH
The yin meridian for this element is the spleen. The spleen meridian helps to strengthen intellectual processes. It relates to the uterus and to the menstrual cycle in women. It also helps transport energy and it creates the postnatal life force energy Ki that is transformed from our food. The spleen helps us be nourished on all levels. It keeps all organs in place as well as the blood in the vessels. From the food we eat, the spleen is responsible for the transformation into Ki and blood and to transport these substances throughout the body.
The stomach meridian is the yang quality of the earth element. It enables us to be hungry and to seek nourishment on both a physical as well as mental level. The stomach is responsible for the digestion of our food and it helps to break down and to transport the vital nutrients downward. The stomach is key for overall health.