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The Energy of Autumn and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

There is a slight nip in the air. The days are starting to get shorter. Before we know it we will be turning back our clock and finding that the days get darker sooner. It is a good time to think about slowing down and allowing our bodies to harvest and gather energy for the colder months ahead. During this time you might feel inclined to de-clutter, nourish your Qi (energy) to ensure you are both physically and emotionally prepared for the colder, darker months ahead.

Autumn belongs to the METAL element and corresponds to the LUNG and COLON. Be especially

mindful to take good care of these organs. They are associated with harvest, dryness, the color white, skin and hair, respiration, elimination, and grief and melancholy. We might find ourselves a little more serious and less carefree than in summer. I find patients who are susceptible to feeling sad and depress feeling more so during this time.

In autumn we learn more about ourselves, perhaps more than in any other season. It is a time to look inward and a time for self reflection. Autumn moves us to get rid of unhealthy attachments and let go of old grief.

The transition from summer to autumn is a time when our Qi is most unstable. If you are susceptible to respiratory infection such as colds, sinuses, allergies, hay fever then take extra precaution to strengthen your lungs. Eat healthy, hearty foods that naturally grow during this season. Sleep is very important to strengthen the immune system. However, if you can’t find enough hours for more sleep, at least try to make time for stretching, meditation and relaxation. Close your eyes, breathe in from your belly and just be present. Breathing exercises (which naturally strengthen the lungs) increase energy, still the mind, and lift the spirits.

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