TCM Tips For The Changing Weather

You’ve probably noticed that the weather is again changing, with more frequent rains and slightly lower temperature. In a lot of the Northern Hemisphere, this is a sign that autumn is around the corner. While we don’t get such obvious and drastic seasonal changes in the tropics, a lot of the environmental and pathological influences are the same.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the season of autumn is associated with the element of Metal, which governs organization, order, communication, the mind, setting limits, and protecting boundaries. It’s a good time to finish projects that you began in spring and summer – harvesting the bounty of your hard work. Of course, it’s also the perfect time to begin more introspective, indoor projects.

During the summer, which is ruled by the Fire element, we deal more with the external – travelling and playing outdoors. Fall, on the other hand, is a time of organizing your life for the winter season ahead and coming more inside your body and mind to reflect on your life.

The lung and large intestine are the internal organs related to Fall and the Metal element. Lung is associated with the emotion of “letting go.” This process is difficult for those who love the summer. If letting go of summer is hard for you, extra support from your TCM practitioner may be in order to help you make the transition. That’s right! TCM and acupuncture works on releasing emotional issues as well as physical ones.

Various systems of self-mastery teach that by controlling your breath, you can achieve and maintain physical vigour, mental clarity and emotional tranquillity. The ancient yet practical discipline of breathing called Qi Gong to increase vitality, extend lifespan, and prevent disease. This is a wonderful skill to learn as the Summer gives way to Fall.

Sleep is another important aspect of staying healthy in the Fall. The ancients advised that people should retire early at night and rise with the crowing of the rooster during the autumn. “Soul and spirit should be tranquil and to keep their lung pure they should not give vent to their desires.”

With autumn approaching and the beginning of the yin cycle, the energy of plants is moving down into their roots, helping the body become aware of the energy of the season. This season is a time for the body to begin gathering energy for the colder months to come.

The lungs and large intestine are the organs associated with fall. The lungs are responsible for the circulation of Qi (the body’s natural flow and circulation), and are also very susceptible to cold and illness. For this reason, it is important to stay healthy and warm during the season. If the Qi circulation is weakened, muscles will not be able to warm the body properly.

The lung is considered by traditional Chinese medicine to be the “tender organ.” This is because the lung is the uppermost organ in the body and especially susceptible to wind and cold.

The lungs control the circulation of the Wei-Qi, which is the defensive Qi that protects you from the invasion of flu and colds. The Wei-Qi circulates on the surface between the skin and muscles and works to warm the body. If the Wei-Qi is weak, the skin and muscles will not be warmed properly. This is why people tend to feel cold when they’re sick. A weakness in the lungs can lead to a weakness in the Wei-Qi, making a person prone to frequent colds.

The nose is the opening to the lungs, and you can prevent colds by keeping your nose and sinuses clean and clear. If you suffer from a runny nose or sinus infections, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are wonderful for alleviating that problem.

What you eat also greatly affects the health of your lungs. Eating excess cold and raw foods creates dampness or phlegm which is produced by the spleen and stored by the lungs. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, cream, and butter also create phlegm, while moderate amounts of pungent foods like garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and mustard are beneficial to the lungs.

The transition from Summer to Fall is a time when the Qi is unstable. The Qi from healthy lungs should descend. If the Lung Qi goes upward, it is “rebellious,” and the person experiences a cough. The Lungs inhale the Heavenly Qi (air) and exhale the “dirty “Qi (carbon dioxide).

Give your TCM practitioner a visit to prepare for the new season ahead and to stay in good health!

TCM Tips For The Changing Weather
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