Late Summer TCM perspectives


We are in the midst of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) observed ‘fifth’ season, that of ‘Late Summer’ the period between the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year) and the Autumn Equinox – which is considered astrologically to be the actual start of Autumn rather than the 1st March – as we are used to in Australia …

A Doctor of Chinese Medicine @TherapyWorks, Jason Callanan explains

“The climate of late summer is associated with TCM concepts of DAMPNESS and HEAT, which is reflected in the increase in humidity in our surrounds. It is the period between the transfer from the ‘YANG’ associated seasons of spring and summer transforming into the ‘YIN’ related seasons of autumn into winter. It is traditionally a time to begin harvest and storage of NOURISHMENT in preparation for the cold winter ahead.

Late summer is associated with the EARTH ELEMENT and the digestive organs of the SPLEEN. PANCREAS and STOMACH.

In our western culture the post Christmas/New Year celebrations of excess food (and often alcohol), give rise to the pathologies associated with digestive issues such as reflux, bloating, bowel changes, and increased parasite activity.

The SPLEEN is also damaged by EXCESSIVE THINKING and OVER ANALYSIS, SWEET, GREASY or COLD, RAW FOODS and ICED DRINKS. Excess mucous is then produced resulting in CONGESTION in sinus cavities, perhaps a phlegmy cough noted after eating, even CHANGES IN BOWEL HABITS, HEAVINESS OF LIMBS and a sense of LETHARGY UPON WAKING.


It is recommended that gentle exercises such as WALKING, TAI QI, GENTLE, YIN and RESTORATIVE YOGA and SWIMMING be undertaken rather than heavy strenuous exercise such as weights since excessive muscle use also damages the spleen and stomach.


Foods to be consumed to help REPAIR the spleen and stomach are COLOURED ROOT VEGETABLES such as carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot. Also consider adding SPICES such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves which all help to NOURISH the earth element and TONIFY the spleen to remove the damp that may have accumulated.


The period of late summer is associated emotionally with the time to CONSOLIDATE  the freedom and growth we have experienced through spring and summer, and to hold it deep into our soul to NUTURE THE TRUE ESSENCE OF OURSELVES and preserve it through the cooler months. This time of year is all about becoming CENTRED, GROUNDED AND BALANCED  –  corresponding with the earth element. Hence this time provides us some excellent benefits if we truly NOURISH OUR BODIES”.

Jason is available for Acupuncture, Remedial Massage and Chinese Medicine consults Monday to Friday (not Wednesdays ) and alternate Saturdays.

Natalie Dalton
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