Autumn, Our Very Favorite Season and How to Make it Even Better!
It’s no surprise that autumn is our favorite time of year! We leave behind those dog days of summer and welcome in the cool crisp air, all things pumpkin, and the changing of the leaves as we step into the harvest season. There is something so comforting and inviting about autumn. It signifies a change of energy; the yang energy of summer yields to the growing yin energy of the colder months. We turn our energy inward and become more introspective. In Chinese medicine we see these changes reflected in our health and in nature. If we harness the energy of nature and change with the seasons, our health will thrive and we can make fall even better.
In Chinese medicine each organ represents an emotion and specific color. Autumn is associated with the yin organ lung, yang organ large intestine, and the color white. Autumn is also associated with the metal element and with dryness. The metal element governs organization, setting limits, and protecting boundaries. This makes autumn a wonderful time to finish up big projects we’ve been focusing on, to set limits and protect boundaries in our lives. We can make space to begin new endeavors that focus inwardly, specifically on our body, mind, and spirit.
Looking at the organs, the lungs represent clear thinking, communication, openness, and grief. When an imbalance occurs, we may experience difficulty coping or a prolonged sense of sadness. Due to the lungs’ relationship with the large intestine, this imbalance may also cause constipation. This inability to ‘let go’ will physically impact the bowels constraining the qi. This makes autumn an ideal time to consider what is no longer serving you, or what may be stopping you from becoming the fullest expression of yourself.
As to the emotion grief, by fully experiencing and resolving grief, the lungs’ qi is strengthened, promoting wellbeing and balance in the body. Other ways to strengthen the energy of the lungs is by adding foods to support the lung qi, by breathing deeply, regular acupuncture visits, cupping over the lungs or the upper thoracic spine.
Begin today by breathing deeply to strengthen your lung qi. The deep breaths will also support your immune function, your energy and memory. Focus on breathing in this vital qi, providing oxygen to your body. Take in the cool crisp fall air and connect with nature. Make autumn even better with this simple technique of deep breathing.