As the vibrant searing energies of the Sun starts to fade in Autumn, and cooler mornings become more frequent, it is time to focus on the season of change.
I always honour the season of change, especially in Autumn. Through modalities such as acupuncture, herbal medicine and correct approaches to lifestyle and nutrition, I work to help myself and my clients, to flow with those changes as part of a healthy, balanced approach to life.
Autumn is a time when the natural energies of life start to pull back from full expression. Nature beckons us to go inward, taking stock and preparing for the cooler winter months ahead.
In life we see this as the tree’s leaves start to change. Perhaps your ambitions and energy are changing. Perhaps you aren’t as motivated to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn, but instead want to get a few more hours of sleep.
Living within the natural cycles of life is believed to be “life affirming”. Many Chinese texts have been written about “cultivating Life”, including the “Huang Di Nei Jing” or the “Yellow Emperors Classic on Internal Medicine”. This is a foundational book for anyone seriously studying Chinese Medicine.
Autumn and the Element of Metal
In the Chinese Medicine structure, each season has an associated element. The element for autumn is Metal, and the Organ system that Metal affects is the Lungs. Autumn is a time to take extra care of your Lungs and its associated yin/yang pair, the Large Intestines.
The Lungs in Chinese Medicine disperse and descend moisture and qi to the rest of the body. Through exposure to dryness and cold, which are dominant in autumn and winter, ailments of the Lung can ensue.
Autumn is a dry time of year, and the Lung organ is especially susceptible to dry weather. Have you ever noticed that there are more Lung issues such as coughs and colds around autumn and winter?
How Can I Prepare for the Change in Season?
- Enjoy Pears and at the same time nourish the Lung Yin! Pears have finally come into season, and they are good for you as well. Autumn weather is drying to the body, but the Lungs are especially susceptible to the dry weather. Keep you Lungs moist and nourished with some delicious Pear juice.
- Make a nourishing soup or stew. Steer away from meals that are cold and raw, which may cause the body to become cold. This is a time to warm the body. Warm, slow cooking makes absorption easier. So you can assist the changing of the seasons by stocking your body for winter.
- Eat warming Pungent Foods. Pungent foods in general break down stuffiness and stagnation. When the Lungs are impaired, it is difficult to breathe, and mucus and phlegm constrict the chest and nose. Try some ginger and scallion, or some other pungent spices to move things along.
- Strengthen the Lungs with breathing exercises. Why not consider the slower paced exercises such as qigong, or even a brisk walk in the morning air.
- Get enough sleep. After the frantic pace of summer, with its long hot nights, and eternal sunshine, it’s time to kick back and begin the process of doing less and going within. Give yourself the gift of enough sleep to assist your mental and physical wellbeing.
- Let Go! Both the Lung and Large Intestine organ system in Chinese Medicine are about letting go of what no longer serves. Make it a yearly ritual to emotionally and physically release what is no longer needed.
The famous Chinese classic Huang Di Nei Jing quotes the importance of abiding by the rhythms of nature in the following paragraph:
“There was temperance in eating and drinking. Their hours of rising and retiring were regular and not disorderly and wild. By these means the ancients kept their bodies united with their souls, so as to fulfil their allotted span completely, measuring unto a hundred years before they passed away.”
We too can reap the benefits of tuning into the seasons by simple changes to our diets and lifestyles. Now is an opportune time to honour yourself by nurturing your body. Contact us at our Sutherland Shire acupuncture clinic, Pure Alchemy, for more information.