With autumn approaching and the beginning of the yin cycle, the energy of plants is moving down into their roots, helping the body become aware of the energy of the season. This season is a time for the body to begin gathering energy for the colder months to come.
The lungs and large intestine are the organs associated with fall. The lungs are responsible for the circulation of Qi (the body’s natural flow and circulation), and are also very susceptible to cold and illness. For this reason, it is important to stay healthy and warm during the season. If the Qi circulation is weakened, muscles will not be able to warm the body properly.
Vegetables of autumn like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale can help purify and protect your body against free radicals. These color-rich vegetables are packed with beta-carotene, which then turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for our immune system, especially as the cold and flu season rolls in. These vegetables can also strengthen your lungs and large intestine to fight illness.
Vegetables to cook with:
- winter squash
- turnip greens
Autumn weather becomes more yin, calling for warming dishes. Foods to cook that are in harmony with the season include more sour foods, as well as foods rich in protein and fats.
Sour/pungent foods to cook with:
- sourdough bread
- adzuki beans
- rosehip tea
Keep your immune system strong with support from essential oils. A daily routine can help.
Essential Oils to use:
- 1-2 drops of lemon oil in a glass of water daily (use glass, ceramic, stainless steel, do not use plastic)
- Rub 1-2 drops of frankincense on base of neck daily.
- Rub 1-2 drops of protective blend with clove, orange, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary on the bottom of feet morning & night.
- Apply 2-4 drops of lavender for stress relief or as a sleep aid at night to bottoms of feet or in a warm bath.
- Try a transitional summer to fall blend with 2 drops clove, 2 drops white fir, 3 drops lemon and rub on the bottoms of feet for five consecutive nights.
Some find it hard to let go of summer, with the longer days and warm air transitioning into the crisp and shorter days of fall. Acupuncture not only helps the body physically, but mentally as well. Fall is a great time to see an acupuncturist as your body and mind adapt to the changing of the season.
Give your acupuncturist a visit to prepare for the new season ahead and to stay in good health!
“Practical Chinese Medicine” Penelope Ody