I have observed a bit of a nip in the air some mornings and even just this week I observed some dew covering the grass and my back-patio table. Then the other night the most glorious sunset that to me always signals shorter days are coming. And if I am honest I must admit to observing some signs of seasonal change in my body - a sudden need to sleep longer and a totally random (and very annoying) dry cough.
As Autumn truly sets in its much easier for us to notice the more external signs. The leaves falling off certain trees, cooler weather, the humidity levels fall and in Queensland we have experience the abundance of an Autumn harvest of familiar produce such as apples. Seeing as we are connected to the outer world, it is just as important for us to recognize the inner signs we can also experience throughout the season of Autumn.
In Oriental Medicine, Autumn is known as belonging to the Metal Element. The energy of the metal element is that of New Yin. Autumn starts the journey of inner reflection, preparing us for the deep Winter months. After the full Yang energy of Summer, if we are not prepared for the jump into Yin energy we can be susceptible to imbalances which create DIS-EASE in the body.
Autumn is a season of dryness and It is quite common to experience dry skin, coughs, colds and a lowered immune system throughout the months of Autumn. With the organs of the Lungs and the Large Intestines being associated with Autumn, both need to work in concert with the other. The Large Intestine and the Lungs are known as the point of exchange of the pure and impure, letting go of what is not needed and absorbing what we need. However the Lung responsible for dispersing fluids in the body is highly susceptible to heat and cold – like a metal object that easily absorbs the external so does the Lungs. This function alone contributes to a cascade of events in the body leading to signs and symptoms related to Autumn that we can avoid through some easy lifestyle preventative measures.
As the humidity drops and the air begins to become drier our Lung Ki may not adequately lubricate or nourish our skin and hair. The dryness simply is a result of fluids in the environment which we exist. By ensuring we are adequately hydrate we can support a well lubricated internal environment.
Particular foods can also support nourishing our skin with fluids to support hydration. Try bumping up your diet with these foods leading into Autumn:
Lowered Immune System
The protective Ki known as Wei Qi is affected by the foods that we eat and the air that we breathe. The strength of our Wei Qi underlies the quality and strength of our immune system. When the Wei Qi is not functioning well we become susceptible to external pathogens.
The quality of our breath is perhaps the simplest method for strengthening Wei Qi. Learning particular breathing techniques can support a healthy immune system and prevent DIS-EASE as a result of seasonal change.
As the nose is the opening of the lungs to the external environment, keeping the nose and sinuses clean and clear can be highly beneficial for protecting the quality of our breathe. Sinus flushing or using a netti Pot with salty water are easy practices for ridding the nose and sinus of mucus.
Cough and Colds
Since we have learned how susceptible the Lung organ is to seasonal changes and the relationship with the Wei Qi we begin to understand that typical Autumn DIS-EASES such as dry coughs, sore throats and fatigue can be prevented through strengthening the immune system and practices to support the Lung energy.
Breathing, swimming, yoga, shiatsu, acupuncture and foods that nourish lung energy can all boost our chances of avoiding coughs and colds during Autumn.
Unfortunately there is no guarantees that you will not develop the mentioned symptoms during Autumn however adopting the above-mentioned practices can provide a new perspective of developing a holistic approach to decrease your chances of experiencing these symptoms of DIS-EASE. Working with an Oriental Remedial Therapist gives you an opportunity to learn more about a holistic treatment model to improve your health and well-being.
If you want to learn more about what I can do to support your health and well-being in a holistic way book your complimentary chat today.