As we enter the Autumn season, the air becomes cool and crisp, and the leaves are starting to turn. Autumn brings the harvest of crops, shorter days and preparation for winter. It is a time of ripening, withering, and completion. This is a process of moving inward, and the inclination to hibernate is this season’s natural rhythm.
For thousands of years, Chinese philosophy has believed good health is a harmonious balance of the five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. These five elements shape the principles of Feng Shui, Qi Gong and Martial Arts. They form the underlying structure of acupuncture and herbal remedies in Chinese Medicine. Getting in touch with the elements can help us feel more connected to the natural world, and find balance in health and wellness.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, nature and seasonal changes teach us how to stay healthy. From observing the seasons, we believe there are foods to eat, required amounts of rest, and emotions that need acknowledgement and nourishment. Chinese Medicine harmonizes habits with the seasonal transitions to help us enjoy a vibrant and healthy autumn and winter.
WIND IN AUTUMN
There is a concept in Chinese Medicine that wind has the power to bring illness into an unprecedented body. A “cold” in Chinese medical vocabulary is called a “wind cold.” As the weather changes, the body must adjust, and outward energy begins to move in. The celebration of sunshine moves into protection from wind and cold. It takes the body and system time to understand that everything has changed, and in that time we are vulnerable to “the wind that carries a thousand diseases.”
The most susceptible spots to wind cold are the neck and the upper back, so keep them covered and protected. Create warmth inside with plenty of nourishing hot soups and warmth and outside by wrapping up in cozy sweaters. To embrace Autumn, choose foods that are ripening, and ready for harvest. Its the time for dried foods, grains, seeds, roots, and squashes that help move the body’s energy inward for Winter.
Autumn is time to slow down, spend more time indoors resting and enjoying good food and friends. There are no guidelines for how much relaxation to incorporate, but finding time to unwind and enjoy life is an important part of maintaining good health.
Deep relaxation and meditation, when practiced regularly, can release stress and anxiety, have been shown to improve mood. Relaxation has other benefits of decreased blood pressure, pain relief, and improved immune and cardiovascular systems. Taking care of the body and mind can make a difference in general health, in how well we cope with stress and change, and how much we can enjoy life.
Short meditations and long Savasanas will help quiet the mind and bring us back to the presence of the moment.
Rest More and restore: It’s good for your health!
In Autumn, drink Ginger Tea to warm the system
Ginger Tea Recipe: Wash ginger root. Slice thumb sized pieces of ginger and place in 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes and drink while warm.
Why ginger tea?
Ginger is pungent and warm. This pungent warmth helps lungs regain their dispersing and dissipating function. Ginger can also help calm an upset stomach. A moderate amount of pungent flavor assists lungs, but too much can dry out body fluids.