Protecting Your Body in Autumn

As the temperature starts to cool, stay in peak condition with these Traditional Chinese Medicine health tips.

| September/October 2019

Photo by Getty Images/skynesher

Fall evokes a feeling of coming down, going deeper, and dropping off from the energy of summer. It may sound scary, but it’s part of the cycle of movement of the natural world. As leaves begin descending from their trees, fall reminds most of loss or death. However, loss is not always a bad thing; fall can also represent the shedding of what no longer serves us.

One of my favorite things to educate my clients about is how to live in harmony with the seasons. In East Asian Medicine, or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we address patterns of disharmony in the body to bring it back into balance. “Balance” simply means that you feel good: You have energy, you sleep well, your digestion is working, and you’re able to do what you love. This doesn’t need to be a perfect state of balance, but rather a fluid, functional state of balance that shifts with the changing seasons and stages of your life. Each of the seasons has a particular resonance with the organs in our bodies, and certain patterns of disharmony show up during different seasons. For example, I see significantly more patients with allergies, asthma, colds and coughs, depression, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), psoriasis, eczema, and low energy in fall than I do in summer. This is because fall is the season most associated with our lungs and large intestine. Here are some seasonally aligned practices that can help you enjoy a more balanced and healthy state during the autumn months.

Maintaining Healthy Lungs

The season resonates with the energy of the lungs: They take in air and exhale carbon monoxide, transforming oxygen into usable energy. Ever notice how if you have allergies, or a cold, or a cough, that your energy goes down? That happens because the lungs are preoccupied with basic breathing. They’re fighting a virus, mucus, or pollen, and don’t have as many resources for bringing oxygen into the body.

By implementing some simple self-care habits into your daily life, you can help the lungs and large intestine become more resilient when they’re most vulnerable to health issues. Keep your lungs in peak condition with these healthful practices.

Photo by Getty Images/SrdjanPav

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