Fall is here - how to prepare?
As the days are a getting shorter, the weather is cooling, leaves are falling, the Fall season has arrived and it is time to start bundling up, collecting those beautifully covered pumpkins and squashes and prepare for Winter.
In Chinese Medicine it is believed that there are 5 seasons – yes, 5! The common four seasons – Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer and the additional Late Summer. These elements are deeply woven in the Chinese culture – this theory is the foundation to many of the Chinese disciplines such as, the martial arts, qi gong, feng shui, and I Ching.
Behind each of the seasons there is the elemental energy; The five elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. In Chinese Philosophy it is understood that good health is a result of the elements being in harmony. Fall is associated with Metal, which is connected to air through the lungs. The lungs and large intestine are directly associated with the Metal element in Chinese Medicine, both deal with purification and elimination.
Some may find paying attention to these elements to be trickery at first, though it has proven to be an extraordinary way to think about our bodies and find balance within both our bodies and our lives, which in turn keeps us more connected to the natural world.
As we’ve shifted into Autumn and out of Late Summer, we move into the elemental energy of Metal.
In Autumn, nature is at a time when it rids itself of what is not needed, it sheds it’s leaves or ripened fruits and seeds, plants die back or their energy retreats back into the roots. A nice way to visualize these changes is to think about summer – warmth, freedom, outwardly growing, trees and plants flourished. Now think about Fall – cooler, shedding, plants and trees moving inwards and shrivelling and moving energy inward to prepare for winter. All of these changes help us prepare for the cold and in Chinese Medicine it is strongly practiced to eat the foods within the season, as these foods (in which ever season) help nourish the body, replenish, and protect the body’s vitality. Purifying and eliminating – much like the metal element in Chinese Medicine.
The abundant foods of Fall are flawlessly suited to rule the Lungs and Large Intestine. To help embrace Autumn choose foods that are ripen during this season.
A balanced metal diet consists of hearty, rich, warm foods, ...
Here are some examples of foods that will help bring the energy inward, in time to stay warm and nourished during winter:
· Root Vegetables – sweet potato, carrots, garlic, onion,
· Nuts, Grains and Seeds
· Winter Squash
· Lentil and Legumes
· Pungent foods, spices and herbs – cayenne, ginger, curry (all help with elimination), mustard, pepper, etc.
· Animal protein and broths – including fish and oil
· Mushrooms and fungi
This is a perfect time to pull out the crock pot and a time to cook your foods more slowly, a time to slow down and replenish. Soups, stews, roasting and baked dishes are an excellent choice to create a deeper warmth and a great source for preserving that energy.
It is also a time of dryness and excessive dry conditions, use more stewing or poaching, this will help add moisture. If you have more dampness, use dryer methods such as baking and roasting. At Aculosophy, through Pulse Diagnosis, we can asses the state of your body and tell which elements are out of balance.
Good for the Autumn season:
· Acupuncture & TCM – respiratory, sinus infections & digestive issues are common during during this time as they are associated with the Lung and Large intestine of the Metal element.
· Breathing & meditation exercises for the health of your lungs
· Weight training – helps balance the higher amount of protein and calories you may crave while preparing for winter
· Walking outside – the best way to strengthen the lungs, while soaking up the beautiful colours and breathing in the cool clean air.
· Enjoying and relaxing in the later afternoon or evening, associated with Autumn, and getting ready for sleep
· Journaling – wonderful way to eliminate any thoughts or concerns, allow for release and regroup – crying is associated with the Metal element
· Clearing, cleaning, donating – bookshelves and closets, keep only what has value and meaning.
· Wear a scarf! – Fall is associated with wind, and TCM considered the cause of 100 diseases – a scarf can ward off cold, which is said to enter most easily through the neck.
“Letting things go” a simple way to stimulate the Lung’s function and get rid of physical and emotional baggage!
Through pulse diagnosis, acupuncture, diet and herbs, patients of Traditional Chinese Medicine are able to enjoy their lives with a true breath of fresh air and help you avoid the seasonal flu. We combine TCM and electro-acupuncture to help stimulate the immune response and help avoid those tough colds and flu’s.
If you are interested in receiving a complimentary 10-minute pulse diagnosis to identify the physical state of your body, we would love to help.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your appointment.
Happy Autumn Eliminating and Purifying!