As of last week, we officially moved into the season of fall. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), every season follows a cycle of energy and is related to certain organs, emotions and healthy behaviors.
Autumn is a very beautiful time of year, it is represented by the element of Metal and the organs of the Lungs and Large Intestine. the leaves start to turn color and fall from the trees, plants begin to go to seed, we feel a stillness and calmness as the weather becomes cooler. As you can see through the changes in nature, fall is a time for letting go. The late summer represents the time we take to harvest and digest our experiences from the year or even our life. Autumn is a great opportunity to pick and choose, which experiences/behaviours do we want to hang on to, that will nourish us and which experiences/behaviours can we let go of? You can ask yourself, what have I pushed under the rug to avoid digesting? What do I still need to grieve over? What do I need to release? Just like the Large Intestine chooses the last of the vital nutrients to return to the body before eliminating waste. Just like the lungs let go of the last breath in order to inspire a new breath.
Many people find that with autumn also comes sadness, which makes sense, as it is the emotion correlated with the Metal Element and the season of fall. When sadness arrives it is good to take the time to acknowledge it, to say hello. Sadness often comes with the need to grieve and release. Allow yourself the time to process, find the beauty in the sadness – remember how beautiful the leaves are when they turn red and gold and the tree lets go. The virtue of the Metal Element is integrity. This is a time to nurture dignity and self discipline. As the energy of autumn moves inward, integrity is also about self preservation, owning your power and setting up boundaries so that you have enough energy to sustain through winter. This can look like saying no to things that you don’t want to do and practicing more self care. Do what feels right for you!
Health Tips for Fall
In the fall, our Lungs are more prone to dryness, dry cough, skin, eyes and nose (these are all controlled by the Lungs in Chinese Medicine). So make sure to eat more foods that nourish and protect these areas.
1. Take Cod Liver Oil – it helps to lubricate us from the inside out.
2. Eat “sweet” foods (not sugar!!!) ex) Honey, Fruit, Rice, Sweet Potato, Squash, Yams, Turnips, Beets, Carrots
The weather starts to turn cold, so if you have a tendency to cold hands, cold feet….
1. Add more ginger, cinnamon and cardamon into your diet
2. Drink Chai Tea
3. Avoid cooling foods ex) yogurt, dairy products, raw foods, smoothies