Meridian / Channel

Pulls back to centre Balances nourishing self & others

Cared forNurturedNeededNourishmentPurpose for others
SelfishOthers unhappyLetting others down
Core emotions

over thinking, worry, obsession, sympathy (Excess sensitivity)

Toxic Behaviour
Ingratiation Complaining Direct people to be happy
Toxic Emotion
Disgust (if advice not followed)
Negative characteristics
Self-indulgence Integrity Ingratiation Selfishness Altruism Martyrdom Self-sufficiency Reciprocity Neediness Obsession Engagement Boredom Production Integration Consumption Stubbornness Adaptability Compliance

The challenge for earth is to go beyond ego desire. Often they are outwardly giving and repulsed by the notion of selfish behaviour. However this masks their inward motivations for giving that reflect a need for other people to be happy for them to be happy. This over- sensitivity to other people’s feelings drives their giving, and tends to make them ingratiating. The challenge is to transform this ingratiating nature into one of integrity and acting with true intent. To do this they must recognise the importance of expressing their soul, and acting with integrity to their soul. They need to place their soul first rather than acting to preserve their relationships by trying to support others.

Physical Conditions
Digestion. Thinking. Blood. Digestive problems anorexia eating difficulties body bulk blood sugar regulation abdominal distension bloating vomiting undigested food in stool diarrhoea constipation.

true intent Integrity – intention and sincerity Reciprocity – interdependence


Unbalanced giving and receiving. Not enough nourishment.


Act true to your inner self and spirit. Need to give using spiritual energy not to get something back. Must look after self, nourish self, then do not need others and can give truly.



In Yin

Sp: Worry. Internal nourishment and blood.

In Yang

St: Thoughts, obsession. Ingratiation and resentment. External nourishment. St needs to look within to find out what is truly needed.






Late Summer




Singing / monotonous

Tao (Spirit)

Yi (mind) – establishing meaning in the world, talking from the heart





Key Relationship



Key words

Relationship anxiety, needs, resentment, blame, over-active sympathy, protection of others, chronic worry and anxiety, unbalanced giving and receiving, nourishment and nurturing, giving has costs, overly needy.


Earth types main issues centre on relationships. In imbalance their relationship needs are never met, making them often clingy and resentful of the lack of partner support and nurturing. “No one looks after me…I am always doing everything for others.” type thoughts are common. They blame others and themselves for their lack of giving. They often feel they should be giving more.

Earth types often blame others for how they are feeling because other people’s feelings have such a large impact on their own feelings. They feel what others feel because of over- active sympathy. Earth types feel the hurt of others as if it was their hurt. If their friend is unhappy they feel unhappy too.

To protect themselves from this hurt they feel the need to protect others from hurt. They do not feel responsible for their own feelings and thus have little power over them. Their life is dictated by how their close friends and family are feeling. As a result, chronic worry and anxiety about others is common for Earth types.

The motivation for giving is to make others feel good so that they themselves can feel good. Earth type’s primary pattern is unbalanced giving and receiving.

Their greatest imbalance is internal – they are unable to nourish and nurture themselves. Earth types often having dysfunctional eating patterns because eating often represents the only (allowable/controllable) source of nourishment for them.

They often are driven to give and give, feeling uncomfortable about receiving anything from others. If they receive anything they feel they need to pay it back with interest.

When they receive things from others they worry about what it will cost others. The in-built assumption is that if I receive there must be a cost for someone else. They feel this way because their own giving has a personal cost - it is not done through choice as they feel they ‘need’ to give. They give so that others can be happy so that they in turn can be happy.

This unbalanced giving is usually the result of poor self image, feeling unworthy of being noticed and nourished by themselves and others. They often feel that the only purpose in their life is to give or live for others.

Alternatively their lack of nourishment can drive them to be overly needy, craving help, companionship and love. Whatever they receive is never enough as their inner need for nourishment cannot be met by obtaining external things (money, cars, partners, companionship etc.).


Earth are obvious from the way they try to be positive and are so over-analytical. They also tend to have a sing song voice.

The rhythm of your questions and interactions is very important when dealing with earth. They are used to using their logical analytical thought patterns that in effect keep them in mental loops and removed from their emotions. They return again and again to this intellectual edifice. To break through they have to break out of the rhythm of their thoughts. A quick succession of feeling questions is one way to break the rhythm. The alternative is to try to get them into their body using physical activation.

The key to their motivator is to help them to see that the life they are living is a lie. They think they are being good people because they help others. What they are intentionally blind to is what drives their giving. They are repulsed by their own needs and don't want to acknowledge them. Yet its those needs that drive their giving pattern and the pattern of their whole life.

Recognising they need things from other people is one place to start. “how do you feel when your close friends and family are not happy? If they were never happy how would you cope? Does this mean you need them to be happy? OR If you were all alone – the only human left and you could help no one how would you feel? “ If their purpose is other people then they need other people. If they are only happy if others are happy then they need other people to be happy...


Earth types need to act with true intent. True intent means acting authentically – aligning their actions with their core self or spirit.

To do this Earth types need to find a place in their lives for their core self. They need to put that core self first, so that they can give because they choose to give not because they need to give to maintain their false identity. Giving with choice is true giving. True giving allows us to use spiritual energy to help others rather than giving away our own energy.

They need to apply their empathy internally, appreciating their core self, finding nourishment inside. This will transform their ingratiating and overly-giving nature to one of integrity. They will no longer be needy because they can meet their needs by being at peace with what is inside.

By being at peace with what is inside their external needs dissolve. They take responsibility for their emotions and allow others to do the same. This will transform their sympathy into empathy.

Possible Earth Goals

I am authentic.

I have all I need inside me. I nourish my core self.

I nurture my core self.

People love me for being me (not what I do). I love me for being me (not what I do)

I follow my heart’s desire.

My purpose in life is to develop all aspects of myself as appropriate for me. I am true to my core self.


I want to make myself an empty room: quiet whitewashed walls with slant sunshine and a fresh breeze through open windows.

Some days are extremely fluid and all possible courses of action are equally attractive. Rather than do something arbitrary, it is far better to empty one's self completely. Then the more subtle currents of life can be felt. One should avoid the mistake of random action.

Arbitrary action will most likely be out of accord with the times. It is artificial, a structure that we impose from our own thought. Such movements are invariably stilted; they do not have the fresh perfection of the natural.

We do not have enough peace. Yet peace will never be attained by perpetual action and thought. Stirred water never has the chance to settle clear. A tree buffeted by winds can never grow straight. Give up all unnecessary activity. Give up all arbitrary actions. Make yourself receptive. The peace that you seek shall be quickly at hand.

From: Ming-Dao, 365 Tao, No:248


Meridians: Stomach/Spleen

Someone with well developed Earth energy is a well grounded, nurturing, compassionate person, sometimes depicted as the archtypical “earth mother”. Earth people like to bring others together and make good mediators or peacemakers and reliable friends. They often enjoy both preparing food and eating. You may be attracted by their generous mouth and full, sensuous lips.

Earth Imbalance

When people have weak Earth Qi, they can be worriers and meddlers. They are prone to pensiveness. They may overwork, especially in studying or other intellectual work. They are vulnerable to digestive problems and diarrhea. They may gain weight easily and lose it with difficulty. Their bodies have a tendency to make excessive mucus, and they may suffer from cloudy thinking, muzzy-headedness, and a lack of clarity.

Those with weak Earth Qi often feel better when they limit cold, raw foods and dairy products. They should eat warming foods and grains to stay well grounded. They may crave sweets. The sweet taste can be satisfied by eating sweet grains, vegetables, and fruits rather than processed sugars.

Common illnesses include: fatigue, diarrhea, gas & bloating, food allergies & sensitivities, eating disorders, heartburn, and canker sores. Excessive mucus may collect in the lungs or in the sinuses. In women, menstrual problems may include either excessively light or heavy periods.

The Qi of the earth element flourishes in Indian Summer, those golden moments of fullness before the waning of the light. The earth color is yellow, like the sun, and the ripened crops, and the root vegetables. Sitting meditation is said to strengthen the earth element.

Earth — Late Summer – the Spleen-Pancreas – the Intellect

The Earth element is symbolic of the harvest, where mother earth provides its bounty. It relates particularly to nurture and nourishment. Like the fruit of the plant, it embodies nourishment and abundance, the ripening of the life force in a way that is tangible and sustaining. It is supported in these processes by the power to absorb and transform, and is associated on a mental level with learning, thinking and analysis. According the creation cycle of the five elements, the Earth element follows Fire, reflecting its role in furnishing the Mind (Shen) with the capacity for concrete thought.

The organs associated with the Earth element are the Spleen-Pancreas and Stomach. “These organs influence the shape of the flesh and muscles. The flavour connected with these organs is sweet and the colour is yellow. They belong to the yin which permeates the climate of the earth.” (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.)

The principal energetic function of the Spleen-Pancreas and Stomach is to transform and transport. As the central organs of digestion, they are responsible for the transformation of food and drink into Qi, body fluids and blood. Along with the Kidneys and Lungs, the Spleen and Stomach are the key providers of strength and vitality. When, due to deficiency of Qi energy and yang, their transformation function becomes impaired, symptoms of sluggish digestion ensue. These include a lack of appetite, epigastric distension, dyspepsia, hiccough and flatulence.

When the Spleen and Stomach fail to fully transform food and fluids, excessive moisture can accumulate in the body, producing conditions of dampness and phlegm (mucus). Dampness is characterised by a feeling of distension in the lower abdomen, by heaviness of the head and limbs and by general lassitude. It is frequently associated with conditions of obesity and lymphatic congestion.

The influence of the Spleen-Pancreas on the blood is two-fold. As the organs responsible for the transformation of food essences into blood, the Spleen is considered the origin of blood, ensuring its ability to nourish and sustain. In addition, the Spleen is said to control the blood, that is, to hold it securely in the vessels. If the Qi of the Spleen is deficient the blood vessels can lose their tone and become weak, resulting in problems such as haemorrhoids.

Of the five “spirits”, the Spleen houses the Intellect (Yi), the aspect of the psyche responsible for thinking, concentrating, studying and memorising. Just as the organs of the Earth element oversee the digestion of food, so too are they concerned with the absorption and analysis of ideas and information. If the yang and Qi energy of the Spleen is deficient, concentration can become impaired and thinking dulled. Just as weakness of the Spleen produces fullness and congestion on a bodily level, it results in over thinking and mental churning on an intellectual one.

The Earth element on an emotional level is associated with caring, support and sympathy. An imbalance of Earth, however, can manifest in an overprotective attitude, as in the person who continually worries about those who they are close to. They put others needs before their own because they need other people to be happy for them to be happy.

They can also be dependent and needy. Unable to nurture themselves they may look for nurture from others. Here, the overdeveloped urge to sympathise becomes an excessive need for sympathy and support.

The highest expression of the Earth element is Integrity. Integrity relates to acting with true intent. Not doing something to make other people happy so that we can be happy. Instead we act because it is right for us and is consistent with our core. To do this we must put ourselves first, our heart first, so that our life becomes a reflection of our truth.

The fruit of a plant is symbolic of the Earth element, being generally sweet, fleshy and nourishing