Finding balance in Changing with the seasons using Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
With the days get shorter, the drop in temperatures and windy days we know we are in the midst of a change of seasons. The seasons in Chinese medicine are not events that are separate from us, but are integrated into our lives as the internal changes of our mind and body (organ systems, emotional selves and habits we have formed) reflect the external environmental changes around us.
“In ancient times those people who understood Tao (the way of self cultivation) patterned themselves upon the Yin and the Yang (the two principles in nature) and they lived in harmony” The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine – approx. 475-221 BC
Our ability to change with the seasons reflects in our health and happiness. Unfortunately our external environment also includes our modern lifestyle of 9 to 5 work, financial obligations, social stresses and everything else that makes up our life. Again for our body we are not separate from these external events, we internalize all these different sources of stress which accumulate and can eventually manifest as symptoms. From simple acute symptoms like common colds, aches and pains to more dramatic and chronic changes of our organ systems and emotional selves, our bodies are incredibly sensitive to the world around us. Of course we manage many of these stresses through healthy relationships, diet, exercise and a overall healthy lifestyle, but within the busyness of our lives it can be hard to meet all of our bodies needs.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help facilitate the transition of the body and mind into cooler temperatures and the balance required for a healthy autumn and winter. The lungs are closely associated with the Autumn season and can be easily effected by the cool, dry air. By stimulated the lungs we can increase our immune response to suffer less, will prevent any current conditions from getting worse especially those that tend to flare up in the cool dry weather. It will also regulate the mental/emotional changes required for us to become comfortable and successful for winter.
Three things to watch out for:
Easily catch colds, sore throats and flu: Since the lungs are the only organ that is physically open to the outside environment extra care should be taken to help prevent colds, cough and flu.
Skin issues: The lungs are also associated with the skin and are responsible for properally providing enough moisture and nourishment for the skin be healthy. Any previous skin conditions like eczema, rashes or dryness, particularly on the upper body will be more prevalent in the fall season.
Seasonal Affective Disorder : Each organ in TCM is also associated with an emotion, the lungs are associated with sadness or grief. Autumn is a season where we experience the leaving behind of summer, letting go of the carefree freedom of the warm weather to transition to a more internal and concentrated self in autumn and winter. For many of us emotional change can be difficult, by nourishing the lungs and related organs and just being a space of self-care we can regulate and balance our emotional response.
The result is what we are all striving for, a healthier and happier winter with our time spent enjoying our friends and families, and concentrating on what we want to accomplish before the new year arrives.
So don’t spend the fall months fighting off another cold, when a few acupuncture “tune ups” will have you finishing projects instead of Kleenex boxes!
If you have any questions , please book a free 15 minute consultation and I would be happy to discuss anything specific with you.
Matthew Richardson, R.Ac.