Chinese Medicine, The Fall and the Metal Element
I walked today in the forest surrounded by soaked verdant leaves, listening to the crows talk to one another and observing the earth heavy with dark soil and moss. And now I sit here with the comfort of a hot tea pot and wrapped in blankets as I listen to the rain. I can hear the leaves outside; brown, orange and red, as they are swept away by the wind into a fury of chaos and beauty. Sometimes the land will speak to you -- if you listen. The days become shorter and darker this time of year and if we look to the natural world we can see there is an organic slowing down and a turning inward. We can see the release that is happening all around us -- demonstrated by the trees -- their natural loss of leaves shows us that letting go is a natural part of our existence. The trees don't die, they simply draw their energy inward preparing for a period of growth where their inner resources become more important then their external expression. We can look to natural cycles as a way to inform our own health and wellness. The fall is a time for focusing and contraction. During the fall we move from the expansiveness of summer with more activity and external connection to the winter which emphasizes slowing down and internal energy. This is a great time to reflect on letting go of waste both psychologically and physically.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine this season is related to the metal element and the Lung and Large Intestine. The Lung is considered the most sensitive organ and is very closely connected to immunity so this time of year is a great time to boost the immunity to protect the lung. The Large Intestine is also important this time of year so doing a colon cleanse or a cleanse that has a focus on fiber which will help to clean out the intestines can also be beneficial.
We can further alter our diets to come into harmony with the season. According to Ayurveda the medical system of yoga "vata" increases in the fall. Vata has a light, dry and cold energy and so we can find ourselves a little more restless or ungrounded this time of year. If that is true for you increase heavier foods, eat more healthy oils and use oils like sesame or sweet almond oil on your skin to pacify vata energy. Autumn is a time to gather our energy and store up for winter. Because of this you can eat heartier foods such as root vegetables. And finally slightly increasing sour foods like sauerkraut, olives, pickles, aduki beans, rose hip tea, vinegar, and yogurt can also be helpful to come into harmony with the season.
I wish you a graceful surrender into fall and a deepening of self awareness as we venture into this darker time of year.