Earth Element – giving and receiving

Earth Element -Give and ReceiveThe Earth Element of Chinese Medicine

One big resource of the Earth Element is our ability to give and receive. I have noticed that health care practitioners in general, tend to “over-give” and “under- receive.” The Earth is literally our planet and our biological mother. To survive as infants, we rely on our ability to receive nourishment from a care-giver who is able to give.
Everything grows in the earthIn order to live on our planet, we must be able to receive nourishment from the food that grows from our soil (Earth).  If we want to have good soil for our food to grow, we must be able to nourish (give to) the soil. We nourish our garden soil with valuable nutrients from compost.
Earth energy expresses itself in enjoyable relationships between people that are based on the balance of what we give and what we receive.

Receiving balances giving.

Any energetic imbalance can lead to unwanted manifestations.  Although culturally applauded, over-giving creates an imbalance in the Earth Element. Imbalances in the Earth Element may manifest as any of these common complaints:

  • Fatigue
  • Overeating
  • Undereating
  • Scarcity mind set
  • Excessive worry
  • Digestive issues such as bloating or cramping
  • Never taking time to nourish oneself

Digestion is the process directly related to the Earth Element.

In order to properly digest, we must be able to receive our food. Clearly, if we cannot receive food, we will not be able to survive. Energetically, an inability to receive compliments, help, support, good wishes, love, appreciation, etc., while not immediately life threatening, does add up over time.  As the energy of the Earth Element is more and more out of balance, serious physical manifestations may arise.

Come back to balance by learning to receive.

After a lifetime of giving, learning to receive can feel awkward, selfish, self-centered, or just wrong. Even so, you may have a sense that your Earth Element is out of balance from excessive giving vs. receiving. Learning the to say “yes, thank you” to help, support, love, and appreciation is the perfect medicine for you. Learning to receive nourishes your Earth Element.
Receive the gift of earthStart small, be patient, and give yourself the love and compassion you so easily give others. Coach yourself along gently, notice the offers of support, and practice saying “yes, thank you” once in awhile.  As you bring the energetic balance of receiving into your system, notice how things begin to improve in body, mind, and spirit.

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Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Tracey on July 4, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I’m only just learning about the five elements and I appreciate what you share with us Cindy. This makes more sense than looking at a diagram and trying to understand what and how it represents. Thank you very much. x

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on July 5, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Tracey – I’m happy to know that this helps clarify the elements for you! I spent many years trying to figure them out too 🙂

  2. Bianca D on April 5, 2016 at 12:36 am

    Brilliant! Thanks for breaking this down so beautifully Cindy. Some very interesting points to reflect on here ^_^

  3. Kristín Sjöfn on April 4, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Thaks for this valuable gift….as an aromatherapist for 10 years I know for fact that somtimes it is hard to find time to nourish yourself and fill up the batteries. And even though I love my job I sometimes get drained and even then I fail to see it my self….So it is valuable to be reminded that: To be able to take care of other you will have to take care of your self.

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