Kamis, 22 November 2012

Keep Healthy Through Autumn - Five Elements Style

Autumn - letting go of Summer

Article applies to geographical areas that have seasonal variations.

As the indistinct Summer we've had gives way, nature changes to adapt to the next phase. We look forward to the beautiful Autumnal colours but also perhaps feel a hint of sadness at the departing season. In terms of the five elements, we are leaving the late Summer (Earth Element) and entering the Metal element. Although the non-human organic eco-system adjusts to this change automatically, we vary in our ability to take on the changes.

The Metal element is made up of the two meridians (energy channels) which are named the lung and large intestine channels. The two meridians cover our respiratory and elimination systems as expected from their names but also has influence at the mental and emotional level. For example, the phrase in the title "letting go" is the mental/emotional equivalent of the physical elimination of waste carried out by the large intestine. At the non-physical level, letting go is very much associated with grief and sadness too. Then our lungs are organs of breathing, taking in fresh air and exhaling carbon dioxide. The inhalation at the physical level is linked with the taking in of new ideas and being inspired by them. Interestingly, in the Eastern medical view, the lung, which is the interface boundary between the outside air and our inner tissue, is totally equivalent to the skin.

So as we slide into Autumn, there could be a sense of grief and finding it hard to accept the new energy of the season. Metal is sensitive to light, and the drawing in of the days will add to the sense of sadness. Yet as mentioned, the stunning colours can be very inspiring as can be the fresh crisp frosty days. The majority of us work in buildings and do not have the time to be more connected to the natural world. So changes of season can present physical and emotional challenges. We could be more susceptible to respiratory infections or have skin problems. Our bowels and urinary tract can play up. Emotionally we might feel down and out of sorts and perhaps have a sense of general malaise.

Being out in nature can be invigorating on clear days and can help with adapting to the energetic changes. Our diet can also help us to adjust. Eating with the seasons can really synchronise us with the natural changes. For example, it is now best to reduce consumption of tropical fruits and start with pears and apples and berries. Squashes are also plentiful and a bowl of warming pumpkin soup fits in nicely. Another positive side-effect of eating with the season is the positive ecological aspect - as supermarket demand of imported food reduce the "air miles" impact due to fuel usage pollution will also reduce. Knowing this will introduce a feel-good factor which is starting to be acknowledged as a very important part of out mental well-being. Additionally, a "top-up" or "maintenance" acupuncture treatment at the change of seasons is a good idea and will help the body and mind adjust to the coming Autumn.

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