Late Summer and the Earth Constitution

Acupoint of the Day 7/29/16
July 29, 2016
Autumn and the Metal Constitution
September 29, 2016
Acupoint of the Day 7/29/16
July 29, 2016
Autumn and the Metal Constitution
September 29, 2016

5 Element Acupuncture – Earth Constitutions (CFs)


Did you feel sometime in the middle of July when the heat waves started breaking into the rain?  Then it just got MUUUUUUUGGGGYYYYY.  The late-summer is not a season classically recognized by Americans, but we appreciate it in Acupuncture.  I know late summer has arrived when all of the late flowers start blooming (mallows, thistles, etc), cicadas come out, and the humidity gets brutal.

Summary of Earth CF attributes:


  • Can have issues with getting needs met
  • Need to be comfortable
  • Can confuse their own lives with others.  Their life becomes all about another.
  • Can crave sweets and attention.  Can become needy.
  • Prone to over-eating or never eating.  Prone to being overweight
  • Lives to eat.
  • All about community and doing things together
  • Can be the best mothers and want to mother everything


The Earth time of life for people typically starts around the mid-twenties.  It’s that part of life when they begin to realize they can’t stay young forever and think about what they’re going to pass on.  Typically this comes in the form of DNA and having kids.  Still I have patients who DO NOT want kids but still want to start a pet family.  It is the element that resonates with family and parenting.  A business can also represent a baby.

“Why are my needs not being met?”  An earth constitution will not say things in this language.  The way they will ask will be more like: “Why isn’t this couch comfortable?”  “Dinner was unfulfilling, can we get ice cream?”  If they are concerned about a partner or a child, it can be all about them.  “You comfy honey?”  “Those pants too tight?” Things like that.

This brings up the biggest issues for Earth Constitutions.  These are taken from Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture written by Hicks, Hicks, and Mole in 2009.  


  • Getting supported and supporting others enough
  • Providing for others but also getting needs met
  • Feeling centered
  • Eating issues, especially with sweets
  • Inertia
  • Mothering


Support is a major issue with Earth constitutions.  They want to make sure that the people around them are having their needs met.  This is why you tend to find a lot of Earth CFs in mothering jobs.  Teachers (especially of younger kids), nurses, other health care providers and customer support are some great examples.  If you’ve ever been apart of a team and had a player who wanted to mother everyone (girls teams) they were probably an Earth CF.  On the flip side, Earth CFs in these fields can get drained very easily and when they come home they can try to refill themselves with lots of sugar.  If they have spouses, they can crash and become the opposite by getting needy.  They support all day and then require the same support back.

Know that it’s not just Earth CFs that will feel this way.  We all can get needy by taking care of others.  We all can crave sugar when we feel drained, like we’ve taken care of people all day (note that alcohol is sugar).  When someone grows up in a house where a parent did not give unconditional love, the Earth can be imbalanced and they might skew toward being needy everywhere or not understanding how to accept love and support.

You see the constant give and take of the Earth.  Give support then accept support.  This brings up the virtue that all Earth CFs strive for which is Integrity.  A good rooted and centered Earth CF will know where their boundaries are and how to appropriately give and receive support.  When not rooted, they might be washed away too easily and get swept up in the lives of a spouse, child, or parent who is in need.  This can also be the type of person who has too many cats or dogs.  Their life becomes the others.  On the flip side, they might be too rooted and constantly dragging people into their issues because they haven’t figured out how to deal with them on their own.

The digestive system is where the Earth is centered.  It’s the center of the body.  Earths can be chronic eaters, they can live to eat, or they can eschew food because they have too many other people to take care of.  There is no one way that the digestive system goes out of balance, but anyone who has an inappropriate relationship with food probably has an Earth issue going on.  Anyone can have a response like this, especially if there is upset in the home or if they are in the process of moving.

I have found that Earth CFs can have issues with inertia.  They can become so heavy and waterlogged with life that they get stuck in their patterns.  This can be staying at a crappy job, sitting on the couch too much, supporting a bad spouse, etc.  No matter what, that heaviness can be tough to move.  This is why this late-summer is like the Earth element.  The humidity feels heavy and bogs us all down.  

Earth CFs are big supporters of family and community.  Think about that matriarch that makes a huge family meal, loves to just be around the family and the kids, and then when you ask them if they’ve eaten they will say something like “I’ll eat after everyone else.”  It’s wonderful what they do for everyone; but any keen observer can tell they are not nourishing themselves properly with food.  This is why the most important aspect for Earths to find is center and balance.  Rooted enough but not so set in their ways that they become inflexible.  


Other aspects of Earth CFs

Voice:  Have you ever met someone who constantly sounds like they are talking to a puppy?  That’s an Earth voice.  We use the term sing-songy.  Everyone has that voice capability when we talk to pets or kids, but Earths use that voice constantly.

Eyes:  Earth eyes just draw you in.  A teacher I once had always spoke about the way Meryl Streep looked at anyone.  This is why she does so well in mothering roles.  


Reap something you have sown and mother it this late-summer!

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