Autumn from a Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective
So you’ve socialised, expanded, been busy as a blue arsed fly and now we are well into autumn. This season is governed by the metal element in Chinese medicine. It’s a time to start drawing back in and focusing on what is needed for winter. That’s what our ancestors used to do, especially in more harsh climates. Now we really only need to do that on an internal level.
During the hotter months we may have over committed socially or with work commitments. Sleep was a little harder to come by but we may not have felt that we needed it as much. Are you finding it easier to sleep now?
Anyway, back to the metal element. It’s dry. Just like the leaves dry out in autumn and fall off. Humor me here Gold Coastians…
The organs that the metal element governs are the Lungs and the Colon.
The Lungs in Chinese Medicine open out into the nose for example the sinus, bronchial air passages and the nose itself. The Lungs are responsible for mainly the surface of the body and the first line of defense being your immune system. The mucous membranes of the skin and airways need to be moist but not damp, phlemmy,oily or in contrast dry in order to protect the skin.
The Colon has the more obvious job of elimination. A stuck Colon can often affect the skin because of the Colons relationship with the Lungs which are in control of the skin.
People of the Metal element
Often have dry skin, symmetrical features and high cheekbones. They have a deep chest which sometimes can be concave when the have deficient Lung Qi. They can look sombre or serious. They have the ability to notice patterns, see the big picture and all points of view without inner conflict. We need more metal people around! They have high ideals though which can be their undoing as not many live up to their high expectations including themselves. They can be hard on themselves and pessimistic. Prone to disappointment until they realise this about themselves, relax a little and accept themselves for their own unique beauty;-) Potentially live in the past as this may be perceived as a better time and having trouble letting go or may be excellent at letting go if the Qi is strong.
Do you want to know if you have good Lung Qi?
You have lustrous skin and shiny hair.The lungs spread moisture to the skin which helps nourish it.
You have a healthy immune system
You have a strong voice
You have energy. Having enough oxygen and good lung Qi to spread it to every cell in your body.
Not so good…
Do you have
Low immunity? Constantly catching colds or flu’s.
Sensitive to wind and cold drafts. Even in summer? Does aircon dry you out or make you sniffley?
Dry,dull,rough or itchy skin?
I’ll show you some ways to combat these issues later but first I’d like to explain to you more about attachment and grief of the metal element.
Another indication of good Lung Qi is having a good relationship with attachment. The art of taking in and letting go. Just like the breath. A person with healthy lung Qi has a great understanding of when it is time to let go of relationships or objects as the emotion associated with the metal element is grief.
Learning to let go is an essential part of being a human being and while it can be distressing it is completely necessary for our health and vitality.
A person with healthy Lung Qi allows themselves to feel grief and sadness and move on gracefully.
Unfortunately with a weaker Lung constitution this process can be difficult or rather making this process difficult weakens the Lung Qi. People with a weaker Lung Qi will often stay stuck in grief as they have not allowed themselves to go through the process. They can then get confused by their feelings of grief and sadness as they try to enter a new relationship. Before you can take in you have to let go.
Not only relationships with people or animals but also possessions can get affected. Hording possessions clogs up the lung qi. Equally losing possessions constantly can be an element of weak lung qi as people find it hard to attach to anything or anybody.
Want to improve your Lung Qi?
Lung Qi is damaged by smoking. See how we were talking about attachments? Smokers have an unhealthy attachment to cigarettes. Not picking on smokers. Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smokingbooks and seminars work like magic if you want to stop.
Lying down too much depletes Lung Qi and aggravates Phlemmy conditions.
Sounds simple but breathing deeply helps the Lungs. If the Liver Qi is stagnant it will be difficult to get a full breath. Standing up and twisting from side to side with arms swinging and floppy moves the Liver and helps you get deeper breath.
Pungent spices, onions, garlic and Chili support the Lung Qi and help break up Phlegm and excess mucous.