In Chinese Medicine, the Earth element is unique. Earth is described as being assigned to “late summer”—aka the "fifth season"--falling between traditional summer and autumn (corresponding to the Fire and Metal elements, respectively).

After living on both the East and West Coasts, I can tell you that folks living in those areas have absolutely no idea what the Southeast knows about “late summer” during the month of August! It seems the ancient Chinese observed what modern Southerners know all too well: August is a “season” all its own.

Usually the accumulation of summertime heat and intense humidity meet their saturation point during August. Even the trees look heavy, tired and ready for fall to begin. We call this build up of hot, humid energy “Dampness” in Chinese Medicine.

Dampness is a natural phenomenon that we experience in the physical world. But in healing, it translates to a pathogenic factor that needs to be gently guided out of the body. If left to accumulate, Dampness is a major contributor to complaints such as (quite literally) “foggy” headedness, feeling heavy and tired, digestive sluggishness, bloating, puffiness, weight gain, and feeling dull, bored or down. (For relief, seek out your local acupuncturist!)

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