Autumn Health Part One
Autumn is a time of slowing down. It follows summer, a time of expansion and growth. In this fall blog post series entitled Autumn Health, we will look at ways to maximize your health during the fall. Making wise choices now will have a big impact on the remainder of your year. In Autumn Health Part One we will discuss the transition from summer to fall and the the importance of our lungs during autumn. Each week we will discuss another aspect of autumn health.
Autumn is the time of harvest, a time to reap all that is grown and cultivated and grown in the warmth of summer. It is a time to store up energy in preparation for the coming winter. Summer is a time of yang energy (warmth) and winter a time of yin energy (coolness). We must store the warm yang energy from summer in the fall in order to sustain us through the cold winter.
Summer Versus Fall
Summer yang energy translates as movement and activity. Naturally, fall and winter bring less activity, but they are important times as well. The colder months focus on building and developing our internal organs – our heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and stomach. It’s a time to build our qi (energy) and blood (nutrients). If spring and summer are times of expansion and growth, fall and winter are times of collection, consolidation and strengthening.
In autumn health part one we take the accumulated yang energy from summer and store it away, like squirrels store acorns in their nests, to sustain them through the long, cold winter. As the temperatures start to drop, our internal heater starts kicking in, increasing our appetite, keeping us warm.
Fall is a time of dryness. Strong, dry winds pervade in autumn, causing trees to lose their leaves. It’s important to get out and walk in autumn, and strengthen our lungs. The Chinese try to hike in the mountains in the fall, to invigorate their lungs. Nothing feels better than hiking in the clear, crisp air than hiking in fall.
We are blessed to have wonderful natural resources all around us. Venture out and explore them. If walking is a challenge, find a comfortable bench and sit outside in the sunshine. Watch the leaves turn color around you. Enjoy the autumn colors.
It is common to develop a persistent cough in the fall. The same dry, cool wind that changes green leaves to red and delights our senses on walks in the woods can also tax our lungs. Of all our internal organs, lungs are the most vulnerable. Wind easily invades the these delicate organs. As Chinese medicine states, “The wind carries the 10,000 diseases” (Autumn Health Part One).
Acupuncture & Herbs
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help. Come in for a fall tune-up. We can boost your immune system. We call it “Wei Qi”, or “defensive Qi”. Strong defensive qi protects you from colds and flu. We have Chinese herbs that resolve coughs as well. Different types of coughs require different herbs. Call us and we will be able to diagnose your cough via phone consultation and prescribe the best herbs for you. You can also eat pears and apples with honey. These fall foods will nourish your lungs and help keep them strong.
Autumn Health Part One
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Stay Healthy This Fall
Tune in next week. We will follow up Autumn Health Part One with Part Two, discussing common fall gastro-intestinal issues. See you then.