by Christopher Peacock, LAc, MS

How to beat those Autumn Blues

The Fall Equinox is just around the corner: it’s time to say goodbye to summer and welcome in the autumn. Soon the leaves will change colors and we’ll trade in our flip-flops and shorts for long pants and jackets.

Chinese medicine pays very close attention to season changes as these changes can impact our bodies and minds in various ways. Every season has its own affinity to one of the five elements as well as to different organ systems. Autumn represents the metal element and the organ associated with metal is the lung. This is the time to pay special attention to lung health and your immune system, especially since we are headed into winter (aka flu season).

Along with the physical symptoms that can arise during the shift from summer into fall, we can also become more susceptible to sadness and grief. Just as each organ has an affinity to a particular season, each organ has an affinity to particular emotions too. In Chinese medicine, excess sadness and grief is said to damage the lungs. This works the opposite way too: if our lungs feel stressed during the summer/autumn shift, we become more likely to experience sadness and grief. As New Yorkers, this is compounded by the fact that many of us suffer with September 11th related post-traumatic stress response.

Here are some tips on adjusting to the transition and embracing autumn

  1. Eating seasonally can help your body to function at its highest potential. Vegetables ripen at particular times because that’s when they are supposed to be eaten. It’s nature’s way of providing what is needed at the appropriate times of the year.  All those yummy oranges and yellow squashes, apples and kale leaves, and pretty much any root vegetables are the perfect foods to eat plenty of.
  2. Spend time outside in nature. Research shows that our perception of color shifts according the season. As the leaves on the trees begin to change color, try to spend some time enjoying the beauty of the change.
  3. Has it been a while since you’ve gotten acupuncture? Now is the perfect time for an acupuncture tune-up to ease symptoms of seasonal change. The practitioners at Yinova can also custom tailor a treatment plan designed just for you to support you throughout Autumn, and beyond.
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