I went for a walk today, and wow, what a beautiful time of year! Fall is here, and we have entered a season of great change. If you have ever sat in one of our consultation rooms, no doubt that you have heard me talk about the change of seasons. Four times a year we put out a newsletter, and four times a year I write about what these changes mean to us. So, with the air turning crisp in the evenings, and the light in the sky changing, I am going to tell you a bit about how the change of this season affects our health.
Fall, according to Chinese medicine, is a time for the Lung. Lung issues, such as allergies, colds, and the flu, can become a problem at this time of year. The wind picks up, while all the energy that has been generated in the summer starts descending into the earth, where it serves as storage to get us through winter. We can see this shift in the plants around us, and it is important to recognize that our internal energy is doing the same. While summer brought about long days, early sunrises, and lots of activity, fall starts us moving in a whole other direction. Many people recognize our desire to nest a bit, spruce up our environment, stay home more often, and get to bed a little earlier.
Our internal environment, meaning our health and well-being, is responsive to our external environment: the place we live, the weather, and the season. In order to feel your best and benefit from seasonal changes, recognize how you’re feeling and match your own energy to that of the energy around you. Some tips I find helpful include:
- Change your sleep patterns: I often find myself wanting to go to bed a bit earlier this time of year and stay in bed a little later. My 6am exercise class doesn’t seem so easy to get to, while a later start time feels just right.
- Eat foods that reflect this stored energy: Squash, potatoes, beets, yams, and other root vegetable are valuable to add into your diet, and deliciously in season.
- Find a practice to anchor you: If you have stress in your daily life (and right now, who doesn’t?), you will often feel it being aggravated by the change of season. Put something extra into place to help you get through. I have begun a daily meditation that has been invaluable to me.
- Manage allergies, colds, and the flu: Seasonal allergies along with the common cold are all around us. Drinking hot tea (especially fresh ginger), keeping a scarf on, staying warm, and increasing your rest are all great ways to combat the discomfort.
And, come in and see us! Acupuncture and herbal medicine can really help.
We look forward to working with you to help you achieve balance during this shift in the season.
[written by Julie]