Keeping Balanced Throughout the Autumn Season

This week’s blog is written by our very own Autum Kirgan, L.Ac. Autum has been with Inner Peace Acupuncture & Wellness since July. Her passion for Chinese medicine combined with certification in Prescriptive Yoga truly makes her unique. More information on Prescriptive Yoga to come, but first, here are some tips to stay healthy during this transition from late Summer to Fall.  

If you haven’t noticed, the change of season is here. We have gone from the hot days of late Summer to the cool, crisp mornings of Autumn. As Mother Nature gives her signal to harvest those last bits of crops before she sheds what is no longer needed, she is preparing for creation and abundance to come next Spring.

We should listen for that signal and preparation too. Chinese medicine uses nature as a teacher: It strives to maintain harmony within the body just as Mother Nature strives to maintain harmony of the earth.

This time of year is associated with the metal element. Metal is, when in balance, responsible for giving us a sense of self-worth and structure in our lives. Within the metal element resides the lungs and large intestine. When these organs are in balance and functioning properly, we stay healthy through the change from late Summer to Autumn. The lungs and large intestine signify taking in what is needed and letting go of what is not.

Here are some tips to insure that your metal element is balanced throughout the Autumn season.

1) Wear a scarf! This is the season of wind, cool and dryness. By wearing a scarf and proper clothing according to the weather, you will protect yourself from sickness by staying warm. Scarves can be light or thick in material and are always a great fashion accessory! J

2) Take inventory mentally, physically and emotionally of things that you may have been holding onto that really serve no purpose in your life and only create stagnation. Upon bringing awareness to your “stuff,” act skillfully and with integrity, address it and let it go. Forgiveness is like a bridge between the self and the soul. When we forgive and de-clutter our lives, we make space for abundance and creativity.

3) Don’t over-exert your self. This is the time to contain. Throughout history and nature, you find humans and animals harvesting the last bits of food for the winter and working to ensure they stay warm throughout the harshness that winter can offer. Although we have become more efficient to ensure we have these things throughout the changes of seasons, we can remain mindful, contain ourselves and reserve our energies to allow us to sustain through the colder months.

4) Healthy bowel movements are essential to wellness and mean you are eliminating properly. A healthy bowel movement happens at least once a day, being formed, easy to pass, containing no undigested food and fully emptying the intestine. Ways to ensure your large intestine is eliminating properly are to eat local, seasonal foods that are high in fiber and warm in temperature.

Here is quick list of fall harvest foods packed full of fiber and nutrients:

apples, arugula, Asian pears, beets, blackberries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, Chinese greens, collard greens, gourds, grapes, kale, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, peas, pumpkins, radishes, raspberries, spinach, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, turnips.

Still in seasoncucumber, eggplant, green beans, hot peppers, okra, salad greens, summer squash, sweet peppers, tomatoes, winter squash, zucchini.
5) The nose is the sense organ to the lungs. A runny nose, sneezing, congested sinuses and loss of smell are all symptoms of compromised lung function. If you are feeling a cold coming on, put on a scarf and make yourself a cup of fresh hot ginger tea with a scoop of brown sugar. This will help warm you up and knock out the cold. If you feel your symptoms are further than the onset, call Inner Peace Acupuncture & Wellness for an appointment. This is the best time to get acupuncture, as it will gear up the immune system to fight off your cold quicker.

6) Spicy is the taste of the metal element. Here is a list of spicy, white foods you can add to your diet: almonds, pears, chickpeas or any white beans, scallions (the white part), ginger, fennel, white fungus, horseradish, white sesame seeds, raw honey, lily bulb. Also includes peaches, celery, and egg whites.
*Don’t be shy with the spice, but do be mindful if you are prone to skin irritation, rashes or blemishes, as spicy foods can create more heat and dryness in the skin.
Thanks for reading!
Stay happy, healthy and flowing with the seasons.

Autum Kirgan L.Ac, MAOM, RYT

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