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Autumn's Call to Feel: Understanding Autumn From A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective.

Updated: May 14

Railway track covered in Autumn leaves

In the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Autumn embodies a period characterised by dryness, introspection, and a focus on the lungs and large intestine.

Our emotional well-being is intricately connected to the functioning of our Lungs and Large intestine. During this season, it's common to experience feelings of grief and sadness, whether stemming from a significant loss or a substantial change in various aspects of our lives—be it relationships, work dynamics, living situations, or social circles.

These emotions manifest uniquely for each individual, but the crucial step is to allow them space to surface without judgment.

Naming and acknowledging these feelings facilitates their release, allowing them to dissipate from our bodies.

The Large intestine's symbolism of letting go urges us to reflect on what no longer serves us. Take a moment to contemplate aspects of your life—be it habits, relationships, possessions, or outdated self-perceptions—that may be hindering your growth. Express gratitude for their past contributions and gracefully release them, making room for new experiences and personal evolution.

Remember, prioritising your emotional health is a vital component of holistic wellness.

During this time, the Lungs are particularly vulnerable to respiratory issues, requiring extra attention to navigate the seasonal transition successfully.

Similarly, the Large intestine's association with letting go prompts us to release what no longer serves us, paralleling the shedding of leaves.

Despite the seriousness of respiratory challenges, TCM's enduring wisdom provides a reassuring guide, offering strategies to support our Lungs during this vulnerable phase.

Adopting a seasonal approach to nutrition becomes essential for supporting lung health and boosting immunity.

Optimising our diet according to seasonal shifts is key to supporting our bodies effectively. It's a practice that not only aligns us with the natural world but also nurtures our well-being. In Autumn, as the climate turns cooler and drier, our focus should be on consuming foods that provide warmth and nourish our Yin— the aspect of ourselves that embodies moisture, darkness, and restfulness.

Hearty A soup

Here's how you can adapt your diet to bolster lung health and immunity during this season:

1. Transition from summer's penchant for salads and raw foods to heartier options like soups and stews. These comforting dishes are not only easier to digest but also help replenish the Yin element in our bodies.

2. Incorporate warm, cooked seasonal vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash, beetroot, and broccoli into your meals. These vegetables provide essential nutrients while aiding your body in adjusting to the seasonal change.

3. Enjoy apples and pears, known for their ability to nourish and moisten Lung Yin. For a soothing remedy for dry coughs, consider poached pears with honey—a delicious and effective elixir.

4. Integrate pungent foods like onion, garlic, turnip, ginger, and horseradish into your diet. These ingredients are rich in compounds that help bolster "defensive qi" (immunity) and aid in dispersing mucus.

5. Stay hydrated by drinking warm water and herbal teas throughout the day, especially with meals. This practice not only warms the body but also nourishes the Yin, supporting overall lung health.

If you find your lungs feeling less than optimal, there are steps you can take to support them during a challenge:

* Prepare a classic remedy for the onset of a cold by boiling spring onions with a hint of brown sugar for 10-15 minutes. After discarding the cooked onions, consume the liquid. For an extra potent version, add fresh ginger root before boiling.

By aligning our diet with the seasonal changes and incorporating these nourishing foods and remedies, we can fortify our lungs and bolster our immunity, ensuring we thrive throughout Autumn and beyond.

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