New season, new opportunities for a better and stronger health
It is October, the summer heat is gone, the air is much crisper, autumn arrives. In nature, Yang energy diminishes while Yin energy rises; harvesting and collecting starts, a busy season also begins.
Chinese medicine promotes living in sync with nature to achieve optimal health, which resonates with many of us in modern days. So how do we prepare for the fall so we can go through this season in great physical and mental health?
First and most important is to take care of our Lungs
In Chinese medicine, Lungs have the function of moving Qi, Blood and Body fluids, therefore it helps to nourish our organs and help the body to expel wastes at the same time.
Lungs are the first threshold for external pathogens. They will be in defence mode as soon as an attack is in place. In Chinese medicine, we refer to Lungs as our “body guards”, our first defence system; but because of this special role, Lungs are also considered as delicate organs.
In autumn, the air is dry and we often face big temperature differences; Lungs are especially fragile at this time of the year; therefore in autumn, respiratory diseases often surge; this makes nourishing the lungs our top priority.
How to nourish the lungs:
1 - Clear the lungs
Our lungs are in contact with the outside environment at all times, they can be easily affected by various forms of pollution. The first thing we need to do is to clear our lungs.
An effective way to do so is by practicing “GuaSha”. Using a GuaSha board to scrape on the Governor ( 1 ) and the Bladder ( 2) meridians on the back. First, work on the Governor Meridian on the spine and then the bladder meridians on both sides. Scrape from top to bottom until the local area appears red-ish or when Sha appears.
In addition to Guasha, another easy way is to do deep breathing exercises. The process of deep breathing helps to bring clean air in, and clear the impurities out.
Always choose an environment with good air quality. Inhale slowly and uniformly, let fresh air fill the lungs to their maximum capacity; then slowly exhale, emptying the lungs as much as possible. Hold 5 seconds between inhale and exhale. Practice this exercise daily for about 5-10 minutes.
2 - Moisten the lungs
We mentioned that lungs are delicate organs, they prefer a stable and moist environment. Autumn brings dryness to the air, many people may experience respiratory difficulties. In autumn, we often recommend to boost water intake, and integrate some foods which have the quality to nourish Yin and nourish the Lungs. The most often mentioned and used are almonds, lotus roots, pears, sesame seeds, honey, grapes, and walnuts.
Last but not least, let go of worries, keep mental health in check
After the abundant joy of summer; in autumn, Yang is diminishing; less daylight and cooler weather can trigger seasonal depression. We need to pay some extra attention to our mental health; engaging in positive social activities, and improving sleep quality are also key. Mellow to medium intensity activities like meditation, Taichi and Yoga practices are also highly recommended for this time of the year.
Apart from all mentioned above, planning a series of acupuncture treatments with your acupuncturist is also a very good idea! Individualized and targeted acupuncture treatments can help you to boost your immune system, tackle your health issues, lower your anxiety and brighten your mood; therefore allowing you to better enjoy this beautiful season to its fullest!