My Earth is healthy, abundant and fertile! By Dr. Anna Pino (TCM), owner of Natural Harmony clinic

My Earth is healthy, abundant and fertile!

This is a cool mantra you can use for your wellbeing, but what are we talking about here?

In a Five Element school of thought and the Chinese Medicine theory, our Earth is our digestive health, our ability to break down the food we eat, filter the waste from nutrients and move them to the right areas. The waste is directed to our colon and the nutrients are directed to our blood stream.

This is where our nutritive energy comes from. The quality of our food and the ability to break it down well, gives us the energy and vitality to be active and happy. It helps us be our awesome selves, bringing our authentic spirit to the surface, sharing it with the world around us in all its abundance.

What we need for a healthy Earth?

Water – We need moisture for digestion to be effective. Water helps the elimination of waste and it also helps the supportive organs like Liver and Gallbladder, and Kidneys do their part and filter toxins that may be coming in through our diet, for example alcohol, fatty foods, processed sugar.

Self-care tip: Drink plenty of clean water during the day. The aim is to have a litre under your belt before noon, this way you are ahead. Aim for 2 liters a day and always listen to your body. Hydrate well after exercise and in colder months. Also try separating your water from meal times, instead have a glass before and after food to improve digestion.

Sun or warmth – Our gut likes to be warm, it generates warmth through digestion and it helps break down the food that we eat. It regulates a fine balance of temperature, if the metabolism is over-active we can end up with more heat that can create dryness in the body, too much cold in the digestive organs and channels can cause cramping and pain, potentially slowing the metabolism. We can regulate the warmth in the gut by cooking techniques like soaking, pre-digested foods, slow cooking like broths and steaming.

Self-care tip: We can regulate the warmth in the gut by cooking techniques like soaking, pre-digested foods, slow cooking like broths and steaming. Steam and lightly boil your vegies as we get into colder months. Soak your seeds and grains in the warmer months like activated nuts and Bircher muesli.

Circulation – Just like the soil that needs air and circulation so does our gut. What would happen if we sat on the couch each time we had a big meal, three times a day? We would probably, with time, gain weight and become idle and slow the metabolism on the inside. Movement and circulation helps the distribution on nutrients as well as detoxification

Self-care tip: Keep it moving with brisk walks in the morning, tai qi, qi gong, yin yoga, swimming and rehab style exercises like somatic movements and Feldenkrais.

Detoxification – We need to maintain the soil from weeds and other obstacles that may hinder its health. When it comes to gut health, we want to keep the waste moving along and out of the body. Waste that stagnates on the inside can become toxic, can be the cause of infection, poor immunity, poor digestion and other health concerns including mental fogginess. If waste accumulates in the digestive tract it can also prevent how well we absorb nutrients and in extreme cases (or over a long period of time) can lead to malnutrition.

Self-care tip: It’s important to seek some extra advice from a registered practitioner. Chinese Medicine along with Naturopathy are highly skilled at distinguishing the type of toxin in the body and how to best release it, do yourself a favour and make an appointment today. Some detoxifying herbs and foods are: Dandelion Root, Nettle, Golden Root, Honeysuckle, dark green leafy vegetables, spirulina, lemon, garlic, horseradish, ginger, rosemary, mint, chamomile, coconut oil.

Fertiliser – Once we have the 4 green lights: good amount of water, warmth, circulation and good filtering we want to preserve the health of the digestive system, we want to nourish our Earth. This is about re-vitalising and re-building gut health.

Self-care: start a 2 week elimination diet, in that time introduce pre-biotics like activated seeds and nuts, fermented vegies and bone broth. Broth has many benefits from being the best multi-vitamin to reducing inflammation and building collagen in the body for better skin, joints and bones. For great quality bone broth we recommend The Broth Sisters for your health needs.

Want to learn more about seasonal health and how each organ system can benefit from specific foods and lifestyle factors? Come and join us for our monthly Yin+Acu classes and be introduced to restorative Yin Yoga practice, reduce stress and inflammation with group acupuncture at the same time and be introduced to foods and practices that can be part of your health tool kit.

Our next Yin+Acu event is on March 10th in Essendon and the following is on April 7th in New Gisborne. For more info on 2019 event dates and bookings please click here.