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In Chinese medicine Autumn represents the pendulum shifting from Yang (brightness, heat, activity, growth) towards Yin (darkness, stillness and introspection). True Autumn begins at the Autumn equinox, generally in late March. The equinox occurs as equal amounts of daylight and of darkness and therefore of the Yin and Yang energies.
Autumn pertains to the metal element in Chinese medicine. This element is related to the organs of the lungs and large intestine. These two organs symbolize the action, function, and ability of “receiving and letting go” physically and emotionally. In Chinese medicine philosophy the lungs receive energy into the body for processing through the breath. The large intestine releases, lets go of and expels unwanted wastes and toxins.
If the lungs are not protected during Autumn they are easily put out of balance. For our health and wellbeing in this season we should be mindful of crisp, dry and cool breezes. We can protect against these qualities with warm layers and especially with the use of scarves. Scarves protect a point at the base of the skull called Feng Chi, translated as ‘Wind Pool’, so named because it is a place where disruptive or pathogenic Qi can penetrate the outer layers and enter deeply to the body.
The dry air and wind in Autumn can disrupt the immune system and cause coughing, sneezing and susceptibility to colds. Dryness of the skin, nose and throat may also accompany the change in season.
Emotionally the metal element relates to feelings of sadness and grief, depression, nostalgia. Un-processed emotions often present themselves during this time of year. This is said to facilitate the harvesting of the year’s fruits, lessons, and reflections.
Our top tips for Autumn health and wellness are here.
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