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fall leaves

photo by Cristina Warseck

You can feel the change in the air- the weather is crisp and cool, even when the sun is out.

You observe the change in fruits and vegetables at the market– the peaches, watermelon, summer squashes, and cucumbers are phasing out. In their place, we have apples and pears, winter squashes, sweet potatoes and a new harvest of nuts.

You notice that night is coming a little sooner.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we observe nature and seasonal changes to learn how to stay healthy. From observing the seasons, we believe that there are certain foods to eat, required amounts of rest, and certain emotions that need acknowledgement.

In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is the season of the Lung.

By living in harmony with the Autumn, we can strengthen our Lungs and immune system to prevent illness. Illnesses that come up from problems in the Lungs include frequent colds and flu, decreased immune system, allergies, asthma, chronic cough, bronchitis, skin rashes, and eczema. If you already experience these, then this is an important season to focus on your health. I recommend that you get the support of  a Chinese Medicine practitioner to help you strengthen and heal.

In the next post I will discuss specific foods and herbs to powerfully support and strengthen the Lungs to keep your body balanced. In this post, I will discuss some lifestyle factors that you can implement to boost seasonal health.

Staying healthy in the Autumn means letting go of the summer- the warmest sunshine, the longer days, and the summer fruits and vegetables. It’s time to wear more clothing layers, go to sleep a little earlier, and transition away from raw, cooling foods. In the Autumn we eat the seasonal foods of Autumn and we eat more cooked foods by baking, roasting, braising and slow-cooking.

Autumn is the time of harvest- to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

It is a perfect time to celebrate our accomplishments of the year and reflect and acknowledge the changes we have made. Autumn is a time of gentle reflection and introspection.

In Chinese Medicine, the Lungs are connected to the emotions of sadness and grief.

Suppressed sadness and grief can damage the Lungs and makes us prone to disease. This is the time of year to acknowledge and bring awareness to grief and sadness that need to be expressed.  Some helpful suggestions to support yourself with connecting to these emotions include journaling, talking to close friends, working with a therapist, creating art, meditating, taking long walks, praying, participating in support groups, or participating in healing rituals. By acknowledging these emotions in a healthy way, we allow ourselves to fully heal.

What areas do you need to focus on to stay healthy this Season? Do you need support and guidance? I am happy to help.

Read Part 2: Autumn Wellness: Foods and Herbs to Boost Lung Health 

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