Listening to Mother Nature in the Fall

By Kathy Traptow, Dr. of Ac.

The human body as seen from the viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a microcosm of the natural world around us. We are connected to nature and thus need to pay attention to the changing seasons.

The long summer days are slipping away, and the leaves are thinking about ‘letting go.’ As we approach the remaining days of summer to fall, to maintain good health and prevent illness here are a few TCM tips.

In the Fall, the vital energy of the Lungs is at its peak and particularly open to treatment and nourishment. TCM agrees with the western medical view of the function of the Lungs at their most basic physical level in that they are responsible for respiration – breathing in oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. An added dimension from the eastern viewpoint is that the Lungs Govern the Qi (vital energy) of the body by generating Qi from the air we breathe combined with the Qi that is created from the food we eat. Through this process, the Lungs are one of the primary organs for our physical vitality. The Lungs serve as the main boundary between our body and the external environment and as such is susceptible to invasions of pathogens.

Here are some tips on keeping your Lungs in tip top shape for the upcoming Fall season.

  1. Wear a scarf.

The Lungs have a direct relationship with the external environment and because of this connection it is important to protect them from an invasion from the cold by wearing a scarf.

  1. Walking outside (with a scarf!) for inspiration!
    Take a walk and fill your lungs with the fresh, cool air of the Fall. In TCM the Lungs are described
    as “The receiver of pure Qi from the heavens.” When we allow inspiration from the natural world in, it’s amazing what ideas and creativity can occur!
  2. Breath and open the Chest.
    The Lungs are nourished by breathing. Expansive movements which physically open the chest, like restorative Yoga can be helpful. The intention is to lengthen and release contractions in the muscles that surround the chest.
  3. Essential oils – Thyme and Fragonia balances the Lungs.
    The link between our sense of smell and our emotions is deep and profound. Aromatherapy can have a very positive effect on relieving stress and supporting good health. Thyme influences the emotional aspect of enhancing will power and strengthening resolve. Fragonia supports and mobilizes your healing resources. It is known as the fertilizer for the spirit!

Mother Nature teaches us so much. Slow down, take notes and prepare for the changes of the season. If you listen, you’ll learn the finer points of maintaining good health and preventing illness.

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