It’s Autumn in the Chinese calendar. Autumn is the season when Nature contracts and goes inwards, letting go of what it created through the year in a grand final display. From a Chinese medicine perspective, we are microcosms of the natural world that surrounds us and Autumn is linked with
Element: Metal – giving us our sense of self-worth like precious metals give value to earth,
Organs: Lung – taking in the pure and Large Intestine – eliminating waste, and
Emotion: grief – cleansing us of what is no longer needed in our lives.
A few tips for a healthy Autumn, inspired from Chinese medicine:
- Unclutter your house and your mind, examine both your wardrobe and your attitudes for old things that haven’t been dealt with for a while, deal with them and then let them go.
- Have plenty of rest. As Nature moves into a period of rest herself, we too must be cautious not to over-exert. Exercise and keep moving, but gently.
- Eat warm foods, replace cereal and cold milk with oatmeal and salad with roasted vegetables (beets, carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips). If you crave fruit, choose seasonal (apples, pears, grapes). If you didn’t get a chance to eat warm food, at least have a cup of warm herbal tea.
- Stay hydrated to avoid your skin becoming too dry and keep your digestion going. Constipation is common in autumn, especially in those struggling to transition and let go.
- Reframe grief. It is normal to feel somewhat somber and pensive in the colder, darker months, and it is likely just a heightened awareness of grief. But seek support if you think it’s more than that.
- Wear a scarf. Pathogenic factors such as cold and wind invade the body at the back of the neck (many patients complain of neck pain at the moment), hence the importance of keeping that area protected.
- Autumn is also a good time to have acupuncture, for some extra support transitioning between seasons. Ask your acupuncturist for some tips on acupressure you could do at home.