It's happening again....the weather is starting to change. All around town you'll see people walking with their warm jackets and scarfs that were previously living in the back of closets.
In Chinese medicine each season is linked with an element, organ, and emotion. To autumn belongs to the Metal Element, the Lung organ, and Grief as the emotion. During autumn, energy begins to turn inward and its a good time to sincerely evaluate what is of value in our lives and what needs to be discarded.
I really enjoyed the "Tips for Fall" that Acu Take Health put out last Autumn. They covered the basics but I really liked that they took into account the emotional aspects that can creep up on us when the seasons start to change. I'm posting AcuTake's tips and mixed in with some tricks of my own below. Hope you find them as helpful as I did.
Thanks to a great friend and fellow acupuncturist Aubry Fisher for use of her photo above
Staying Healthy this Fall
Grab Your Scarf
Keep your body warm and avoid getting chilled as the days begin to cool down.
Feeling dehydrated and just plain dry is really common during the fall months. Everything from dry, scratchy throats to constipation to dry flaky skin.
Its recommended to have 6 - 8 glasses of water a day.
There are also some great foods that can help keep you hydrated like cucumbers, celery, spinach, and carrots.
This means something different for everyone of us. Even if you haven't experienced a traumatic event recently, fall is a good to focus inward and check in with your emotions. There could be issues of unresolved loss, sadness, or just plain bummed out that summer is fading away.
Make To-Do Lists
Fall is all about being prepared for winter that's coming.
Getting organized and staying focused are key during these months. By making lists of jobs you need to do and things you want to do, you can start prioritizing whats important.
Eat Warming Foods
Drop those cold foods and drinks - they belong in summer. Just think, you spend all that effort keeping the outside of your body warm, why not the inside?
Focus on root vegetables that are in season such as beets, turnips, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and squash are ideal. If you’re craving fruit, pick something seasonal such as apples, pears, grapes, figs or persimmons
The Lung organ (that's paired with Fall) loves movement! When we keep active, we are also helping to keep our Lung organ happy and balanced. Any form of exercise counts, just make sure you're getting at least 30 mins exercise a day that you enjoy.
"Oh No - What's that Tickle In My Throat"
This will boost your immune system, warm you up, and chase away a cold or flu. It's best to drink this tea at the first sign of feeling a cold/flu come on.
1 medium piece of ginger (about 2 inches) - sliced into large pieces
1 scallions (or green onions) including the roots
1 rolls of cinnamon bark
(this a non-powdered form of cinnamon and can be found at any market)
1 pear - cut into large pieces
Place ingredients in a large pot and cover with at least 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer. After 30 minutes, remove the scallion and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes.
Use a ladle to serve yourself some "tea" and enjoy while hot. This beverage is strong and full of energy, with only a hint of both sweetness (cinnamon) and earthiness (scallions).
Pick out the pear pieces and place aside. Let the pear cool and enjoy separately. In traditional Chinese medicine, pear is considered a "cooling" fruit that lubricates the lungs and quiets coughs.