Tending to our Earth Temple
Our physical body is the vehicle through which we express and carry out our work here on the great stage of life, Earth. Our physical body truly is our physical temple and we need to treat it as such if we’re to get good mileage out of it during our earth walk.
Given that it is a sacred place/space it is essential that we treat it with the love, reverence, respect, care and support that it requires on a daily basis. The amazing, mobile ‘earth temple’ we embody is superbly equipped to carry out all the necessary functions required to enable us to not merely survive, but thrive while we inhabit it.
Our bodies are very adaptable, however if we’re blasé about keeping up with our ‘housework’, e.g. eating processed and junk foods, not exercising, not drinking enough pure water etc. things can start to go awry and we may soon find our ‘earth temple’ falling into a state of disrepair.
Many people are experiencing chronic, degenerative health conditions which can indicate a need to address how they relate to their physical bodies and to physicality in general.
We are greater than the sum of all our parts
According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine five element theory, we are a composition of five elements – fire, wood, water, metal and earth. These five elements represent different qualities and govern the functioning of particular organs and the overall balance of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves.
When these five elements are working harmoniously within us, we experience good health, equilibrium and vitality. If one or more of these elements is out of balance, in either an excess or deficiency state, then health problems can manifest. The whole being greater than the sum of its parts, when one of our elements is ‘off’ it can disrupt the functioning of the other four elements creating further imbalance and disruption to our wellbeing.
When viewed in this way we can see that we are, in essence, a dynamic blending and melding of various elemental forces that shift, change and dance with each other in a great elemental symphony where each element plays its unique part in maintaining health and wellbeing.
Balancing the Earth element
The earth element, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, is said to rule the spleen-pancreas and stomach and is associated with the sense of taste and sweet taste. When our earth element is in balance, we embody the qualities of nurturing and generosity, much like the archetypal Earth Mother herself. We feel replete, we feel ‘hearty’ and nourished. Our body feels strong and sturdy; digestive function is strong and we extract nutrients from the food we eat efficiently and effectively.
Too much of a good thing
An excess of the earth element in our constitution can occur if we overindulge in earthy type foods such as sugar and starches, dairy products, meat and other rich foods. An excess of earth can lead to dampness in the body creating an environment that is hospitable to yeasts, fungi and other unwanted microorganisms taking up residence. This can in turn lead to problems such as candidiasis (an overgrowth of candida yeast in the digestive tract), brain fog, weight gain, diabetes and blood sugar issues.
On the other end of the spectrum, when we are deficient in the earth element we can experience low vitality and depletion, poor digestion, dry skin and hair and a nervous disposition.
When we think about the grounding and nourishing qualities of the Earth, if this element is lacking or deficient in us, then we can really benefit from eating foods and drinking beverages with earthy qualities to nourish and support us:
- Root vegetables are at the top of the list, particularly those that have a naturally sweet flavour – carrots, beetroot, kumara and potatoes being good examples.
- Seasonal fruits such as apples, blueberries, figs and melons that are in abundance this time of year are also of benefit if we need to ‘earth’ ourselves.
Help from the experts
If we are alert to the changing needs of our ‘earth temple’ and train ourselves to listen to our body’s intuitive promptings through self-observation, we are linking in with the infinitely intelligent wisdom of our physical body to guide us and show us where we need to pay attention, where things are lacking and what we may do to correct imbalances.
At times however it can be a bit difficult to see the wood for the trees so to speak when it comes to our health and we can benefit from an objective perspective. Calling upon others who have the knowledge and skills to assist us with our wellbeing and see things more clearly can be of real benefit.
Naturopaths, medical herbalists, nutritionists, and integrated medical doctors have a variety of tools at their disposal to determine where and what we may be deficient in, and ways that we can address imbalances to bring our bodies back into harmony and balance.
If our earth element is out of balance and we’re craving sugar and sweet foods for example, we may be deficient in minerals such as chromium, zinc and magnesium that play an essential role in glucose metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Supplementation with these minerals may be required, along with other treatments to address the physical symptoms that we are experiencing.
Nature- the great provider
Looking to nature, we often find the answers we seek and the means to help us get our physical bodies back on track when things have gone off the rails. Flower essences that support our physical realm work with the intelligence contained in each of our cells to help us establish a healthy relationship with physicality and in particular our physical body.
Here are a few key First Light® flower essences that support our wellbeing at a physical level:
Flowers of Transformation Essence No 4 Marlborough Rock Daisy – the Self Worth essence is useful for those with compulsive issues around food and who are prone to eating imbalances. This essence is beneficial where there is pain associated with the physical body and a lack of self-love and self worth.
Flowers of Transformation Essence No 5 Native Passionfruit – the Abundance essence is helpful for times when we feel like there ‘isn’t enough’, get a bit greedy and take more than we need. Overeating and comfort eating often stem from this place and Native Passionfruit helps to address the stress associated with feelings of lack that lead to overindulgence. It is also a good essence to use when we are struggling to get going and using props such as coffee, sugar or food to helps us function.
Ferns Essence No 37 King Fern – the Security essence supports us to feel safe in the physical realm, and at ease with our physicality. For those of us who have experienced physical traumas of any kind, King Fern gently clears away traumatic memories residing deep in our cells so that we can heal. Use King Fern when energy levels are depleted or when experiencing challenges with health and physicality in general.
Tree Essence No 44 Kahikatea – the Structure essence works to provide stability and a sense of structure and order in our lives. It helps balance, strengthen and energise the base chakra – the centre that regulates our physical responses to life. Use to help plan and determine what routines and structures are necessary for a successful life.
Seed Essence No 51 Broadleaf – the Reverence essence works to seed in the perfect pattern for right relationship with the physical/material world, helping to clear dysfunctional patterns of living that may be contributing to us experiencing problems with our health. Reverence for the physical realm is Broadleaf’s ‘good medicine’ particularly if we’re struggling to maintain a healthier lifestyle. It is a great ally to work with to help us shift out of a rut and change things for the better.
— Lana Raill
Lana holds diplomas in Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine and New Zealand Native Flower Essence Therapy, and is a First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand® Registered Practitioner. Lana specialises in working with vibrational plant medicine in the form of First Light® flower essences and is available for consultations in Grey Lynn and Avondale on 021 02468952 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org