Autumn yields its amber crown moving towards it’s stark conclusion. The trees bravely relinquish and let go of fruits and leaves. But as we move towards the deeper more reflective nature of winter rather than yielding and shoring up our energies…our inclination is contrary and overextension becomes all too familiar. Is this an unconscious impulse fuelled by old survival instincts running on adrenal deficit? Perhaps it’s time to take our lead from Mother Nature who whispers through every cell of her being, let go, slow down, replenish!
Daoist wisdom sees life as continuous cycles of motion and change – it’s a constant flow of expansion and contraction reflected in every area of your life. When in harmony, your physical health finds a natural equilibrium. When balance is broken by extremes, dis-ease occurs. So, before the bitterly cold gathers and greyness cloaks the day a little constitutional bolstering might offer an extra oomph to flagging energies. Let,s reset with some seasonal insights and healing.
The Autumn works with the lungs and large intestine according to the Chinese five elements the lungs are the commanders of Qi, they’re an interface between our external and internal worlds drawing in vital oxygen to be transformed into Qi or life-force, this feeds our blood and immune system. It's also a time to let go, acknowledge gifts that have been received and achievements gained. Also to assimilate and let go of beliefs, people and habits that hamper your path, to release what no longer serves you.
The primary way to acknowledge your toil is to nourish and support your inner being. This can be done in many ways - nutrition, fortifying teas, tonic baths, receiving fortification through massage or acupuncture. Reflective practices like meditation, breath work, Qi Gong or Yoga.
Foods change from raw to cooked, if you like a salad then lightly blanch before assembling, literally a minute is enough. Raw foods can be too cold for the stomach, warm is better!
Eat seasonal vegetables steamed or in soups, throw in some pungent ones to fortify the lungs such as watercress, cabbage, (sweet gem is delicious finely shredded and steamed) ginger, garlic, horseradish, turnips and onions. Pickled vegetable like kimchee and sauerkraut support spleen health and clear dampness. Low sugar fruits like lemon, lime, grapefruit, pomegranate and green apples. Ginger, Thyme or Licorice root and Pu erh are great teas to indulge in.
Basically you want to avoid dampness forming in the body so focus on protein, meat, fish, quinoa, beans, gluten free grains, nuts and seeds. Try to avoid processed sugar, cookies, flour, noodles fruit juices. Cook with healthy oils like Coconut, Olive or Ghee. Take time to make your own nut milks, nourishing bone broths enhanced with lung strengthening herbs and spices like bay leaves, caraway seeds, cardamom, chives, cinnamon, cloves, dill, fennel, leek, oregano, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, and turmeric.
Warm salt baths by candlelight, immune boosting essential oils to apply, soak or burn. Walks in nature to boost circulation. Reflective writing to release stored emotions and to dream in equal measure. Create a contemplative space in your room to breathe, meditate or do some reading for\\\ enrichment. Give yourself some conscious care to keeps the bed bugs away!