In traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we look at seasons and consider them as elements. With each change of the season there are elements and meridians that correspond. We look at the meridians and elements and how they tend to have a direct correlation to both the physical and emotional aspects of our lives.
We are now going from the relaxed care free world of summer to the more serious and introspective energies that are associated with autumn. Fall is the metal element and the meridians involved are the lung and the large intestine. This is the time of organization and setting boundaries. Finish up projects you have started in spring and summer. Focus on internal and cultivate your body mind practice becoming more introspective. The energy associated with the lungs and the large intestine is letting go. The colon has the function of eliminating what is unnecessary or toxic from our bodies. This is not only physical, but emotional toxins as well. We need to eliminate mental and spiritual garbage. Learning how to let go of the waste is essential this time of year. Become mindful of letting go of anything we may be holding onto, making room for new experiences.
The emotion attached to the lung is grief and sadness. On the “healthier side” of the emotion, the lung is also associated with clear thinking and communication, openness to new ideas, positive self-image and ability to let go and be happy. This is when acupuncture is needed most. When the energy is stuck, stagnant or out of balance, that is when the negative emotion or physical ailment can come out. You may have issues dealing with excessive grief, difficulty coping with change, or a prolonged sense of sadness. You may be holding onto and reliving the past, playing the same tune over and over in your head instead of living in the present.
From a physical aspect, the lung meridian controls the skin, the arm/shoulder and neck region. When out of balance, people tend to have arm/shoulder pain, neck pain and stiffness as well as headaches. This is the time of year to get colds, sore throats and sinus issues if out of balance.
Due to our current environment of COVID and the cold and flu season coming up, it is imperative more than ever to boost our immune system to help ward off all viral and bacterial infections.
When the energy or Qi is moving freely, the physical and emotional aspects have more of a positive and healing effect. Below are some ways to stay balanced during the fall/metal element season including foods that you should add and consume to your daily diet.
- Acupuncture. Many of my patients come in whenever the season changes to get balanced with specific points relating to the meridians involved for that season.
- Let go of negativity. Just becoming aware is a good start.
- Breathe. Try taking a deep breath for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 5-7 seconds and breathe out for 8 seconds. This clears the negativity and resets your sympathetic and parasympathetic system for stress reduction. (Also aides in insomnia).
- Wear a scarf. Fall is the time for wind. In Chinese medicine, wind is responsible for around 100 different types of disease. This time of year, colds, coughs and flu.
Eat less cooling and more warming foods. Soups are great for warming, digestion and immune support, getting ready for the long cold winter months. Try adding some of the following: Garlic, sweet potatoes, cabbage, ginger, onion, cinnamon, pears, walnuts, mizo, yogurt, bananas, apples, pears. Think of foods that will moisten and warm the cool dry air that is invading the body.
Do not forget to get out and walk or exercise. Try to relax with mediations and Qi Gong.
For any questions on acupuncture, Qi Gong, Tai Chi or mindfulness meditation, feel free to call the office or send an email. Remember, energy goes where the Qi flows.
Look for upcoming workshops on Qi Gong and Mindfulness Meditation for the lung/heart, chest, and overall wellness during the October month.