The Autumnal Equinox
After the magnificent harvest of the Summer thanks to its Fire energy, the Fall and its Metal energy support our letting go of the waste, the old and stale in our lives, leaving us purified and ready to renew. Like trees letting go of their beautiful leaves, it's time for us to let go of the old clutter: toxins, pollutants, emotions, regrets, attachment, intellectual and spiritual garbage... The Metal energy is also about protection and drives the immune system. So Metal energy is the connection between detoxification (letting go of the waste and old), maximum immunity and the Fall season of flu and cold.
There truly is something magical about this time of year.
The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night.” The fall and spring equinoxes are the only two days of the year when the sun crosses the celestial equator.
The earth’s axis of rotation is not perfectly pointed at the sun; it is tilted. This causes the seasons to change. During the fall, temperatures begin to drop and days start to get shorter. This change affects argriculture (available fresh foods), our moods, and our general health.
How we eat, sleep, and act in winter is different than what we need in the summer. And interestingly, there is a fifth season in this ancient Eastern modality: LATE SUMMER. This is the season we just passed through. It started in late August and lasts until the Autumn Equinox (September 22, this year).
Chinese Medicine’s Late Summer Season is associated with the earth elements—and the harvest. This is the time of year, traditionally, when farmers reap the benefits of all their hard work through the spring and summer. And for us urban dwellers, we can consider it the time of year when we harvest the mental and spiritual work we may have begun earlier this year.
Stay Healty in the Fall; Lungs & Large Intestine
In this season we will nourish and detoxify the lungs and large intestine. Your lungs are your first line of defense against unhealthy air; they hold the key to respiration. When you’re relaxed, you breathe approximately fifteen times per minute. It’s always best to protect them from cold and damp weather by keeping your chest, neck, head and feet warm.
Every function of your body relies for existence on the oxygen intake of the lungs. Your lungs need to be able to eliminate carbon dioxide. It’s essential for your lungs to have good quality air that is clean, moist, warm and rich in oxygen. The nose is the opening to the lungs, and you can prevent colds by keeping your nose and sinuses clean and clear.
When your lungs aren’t functioning properly, your body accumulates heat, propelling other health issues into motion, resulting in poor circulation, night sweats, excessive perspiration, and fatigue. Equally important to your health this time of year is the large intestine.
It is divided into three parts: The caecum, where your appendix is attached; colons—ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid; and the rectum.
When the large intestine is constipated your skin gets rashes, acne and eczema. We carry 3-4 kg of encrusted fecal matter. Backed up waste creates a toxic state that shows up as bloating, gas, headaches and arthritic symptoms.
Diets rich in sugar, flour, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, and the Pill can aggravate your gut. What you eat also greatly affects the health of your lungs. Eating excess cold and raw foods creates dampness or phlegm which is produced by the spleen and stored by the lungs. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, cream, and butter also create phlegm, while moderate amounts of pungent foods like garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and mustard are beneficial to the lungs.
Sleep is another important aspect of staying healthy in the Fall. The ancients advised that people should retire early at night and rise with the crowing of the rooster during the autumn. “Soul and spirit should be tranquil and to keep their lung pure they should not give vent to their desires.”
Various systems of self-mastery teach that by controlling your breath, you can achieve and maintain physical vigor, mental clarity and emotional tranquility. Yoga and meditation will teach you how to master your breath!
During the change in temperature, be sure to dress for the weather!
Prevention is the key. Now is the time to strengthen your Qi to prepare for winter and get a “tune-up” with Shiatsu and Yoga.
"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
Enjoy the energy of Fall
Categories, Season, Winter