SUMMER TO FALL: SEASONAL TRANSITIONS IN CHINESE MEDICINE
“A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.”– Unknown
We are in the midst of transitioning from late summer to fall. In Chinese Medicine, Late Summer is the season of the Earth phase. The Earth phase is ruled by the organs of the Spleen and Stomach and is when physical, mental, and emotional growth has reached its peak. If our Earth phase is in balance, we will have good energetic and emotional boundaries and we will feel grounded. If not in balance, we give more than we take, and can be prone to excessive circular thinking/worrying. Fall is the season of the Metal phase. The Metal phase is ruled by the organs of the Lung and the Large Intestine. The metal phase represents harvesting the fruits or our labor both physically and mentally. Things begin to slow down and we can emotionally feel content. If our Metal phase is balanced, we are able to let things go and are unattached to past pains and disappointments. Unbalanced, we are unsatisfied with our lives (the fruits of our labor), we are unable to let go of the past, and can experience the emotions of loss, grief, and sadness. It is during these periods of seasonal transition that unresolved physical, mental, and emotional pathology can make themselves known. Our digestive and immune systems need extra care during this time. It is important to rest when tired and begin to eat more warm and nourishing whole foods. Things like bone broth, stewed apples (recipe below), digestive bitters, ginger, cinnamon, and nettles can be good additions. *Please check with your primary care doctor before adding any supplements.* Because the diaphragm sits between the lungs and the digestive/elimination system, meditation that focuses on the breath and/or slow deep diaphragmatic breathing is very beneficial at this time. It is also imperative that we begin to take it easy -- to slow down both physically and mentally. If challenges arise, it is important to practice loving kindness towards ourselves and know that this too shall pass. When we are gentle with ourselves, we support our inner-child; the part of ourselves that always needs to be understood and loved. This type of self-care allows us to be the ideal, kind, and peaceful version of our adult selves. As always, if we need help, we need to ask for it. We can't do it alone. This is the time to seek out the people who nourish us -- the ones that remind us of how good the world can truly be.
In Harmony, - Jennifer