Johanna's Fall Season Newsletter
This is my first seasonal newsletter! Happy fall to all of you. What glorious fall colors we have had in Colorado this year, with mostly beautiful warm sunny days. My newsletter will be about the season as itis seen through the eyes of Chinese Medicine.
Chinese medicine draws inspiration from nature in many ways. So the fall is seen as a time when energy is turning inward – as reflected by the trees dropping their glorious leaves, and investing their energy more inwardly, drawing strength from the soil and the resources gathered in spring and summer. As we align ourselves with the changes occurring in nature our vitality and health have greater opportunity to reach their potential. Staying in tune with the season also reflects a turning within. It’s a great time to let go of things that we no longer need or that are no longer priorities. Spend time in reflection and contemplation, simplify your life. Fall is a great time to prepare for the winter season when our bodies really want to rest. Getting to what is essential in our lives in the fall, so we can set ourselves up for rest in the winter, is a great seasonal goal. So it’s a great time to plan a relaxing, stress-free, rejuvenating winter vacation!
In Chinese medicine the fall is associated with the lungs and large intestine intestine
Each season is also associated with our internal organs, and the fall is associated with the lungs and large intestine. This is a particularly good time to improve the lungs and large intestine health as more energy is available to them. Below is a description of the themes and health issues of the lungs. Using Chinese medicine is a great way to work with all the issues related to the lungs, from physical to emotional.
In Chinese medicine discussion about the lung includes the whole respiratory system; trachea, bronchus, throat and also the nose. Interestingly the skin is also associated with the lungs. Our sense of smell,and our senses of touch are part of this system. Worry, grief and sadness are the emotions that relate to the lung. The lungs are about our exchange with our environment, from the inflow and outflow of our finances, to the personal exchange we have with family, friends and in our work.
Health problems associated with the lungs: Cough, breathlessness, asthma, COPD, emphysema, bronchitis,pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, cold and flu. Other signs in Chinese medicine can include fatigue, excess sweating especially during the day, dry mouth, dry skin, white complexion, sore throat, runny nose, swollen tonsils,allergies, edema, swelling of face and eyes, all manner of skin problems, hair loss, weak voice, and dislike of cold.
The Large intestine is a digestive organ that receives foodand drink from the small intestine and reabsorbs water and excretes stool. It’smental and emotional aspect relates to our capacity for letting go and notdwelling on the past.
Health problems associated with the Large Intestine: Constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, colitis,hemorrhoids, diverticulitis.
So if you or someone you know is experiencing lungs and large intestine health related concerns, now is an ideal time to be proactive in addressing them. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help. When you refer a friend who schedules an appointment, receive 20% off your next treatment.
Research Highlights for the Season
A study from 2004 about allergic rhinitis (allergies with arunny nose), found that weekly acupuncture along with an herbal formula reducedallergy symptoms by 85%.
In another study done by my Chinese medicine teachers inCalifornia, Michael McCulloch and Michael Broffman, lung cancer patients who did conventional treatment along withChinese Herbs and supplements, both during conventional treatment and beyond, reduced stage IIIA lung cancer deaths by46% and stage IIIB by 62% and stage IV by 69%
Simple Health Tips for the Season
Exercise! One of the best ways to strengthen your lungs isthrough exercise. Cardiovascular workouts and weight training are particularlybeneficial. Yoga is also excellent with its emphasis on breathwork andstretching to open the chest, as is Chi Gong.
Breathe! Breathing more deeply, slowly and into the belly are all easy and effective ways to improve your lung health and to relax.
Simple tea ideas include fresh ginger tea that warms and opens the lungs and peppermint that helps prevent colds and flu.
The fall season is a great time for building a stronger immune system. Some ideas that anyone can try include eating more probiotic foods like kimchee, sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt. Spend some time in the sun without sunscreen to make vitamin D. Include more mushrooms in the diet as they are a great tonic for the lungs and immune system.
In Chinese medicine, the lungs are associated with the element of metal and relate to finances. Now would be an ideal time to assess finances and if needed do some business coaching or financial planning and management. Since fall is a time of harvest and storing, it’s a great time to think about your savings or your retirement plan.
The act of giving and receiving is integral to the lungs as they are the organ that provides so much opportunity for direct contact and exchange with our environment. It’s a great time of year to think about if we are in balance with how we give and receive. Take a moment to consider if you need to reach out to your community for more support, or if you need to cultivate more generosity. Most of all, pay attention to your lungs and large intestine health.
Feel free to send this email to anyone you think may enjoy reading it.
Wishing you all a healthy fall.
Acupuncturist and Herbalist