In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there is a vital life force known as Qi. Qi is the balance between Yin and Yang energy. We all have Yin and Yang energy flowing in and around us and it changes with the seasons.
As we begin the Autumn Season, we shift into the Metal Element and into Yin energy. Yin energy is soft, slow and feminine. It is often associated with the Earth, Moon, night and water. Body parts that correlate with Yin energy include the liver, heart, spleen, kidney and lungs. For humans, this is a time to slow down, to reflect, and to prepare for winter.
The body goes through transitions just as the seasons do: the Yin energy in the lungs takes on the new, the Yang energy in the large intestine is responsible for ridding the body of waste. We work to keep the Lung and Large Intestine in balance. Now is the time to strengthen and boost the immune system for the winter months.
Symptoms such as dry nose, dry skin, constipation, eczema, chronic nose bleeds, sadness, depression, and breathing issues will occur if there is imbalance. Here are a few tips for returning to balance…
TO EAT: In TCM, to protect the lungs and immune system, we must take proper care of digestion first. The goal is to strengthen the Spleen and Stomach and reduce dampness. When cooking it is recommended to sauté and bake warm foods. Incorporate sour and fermented foods more often and reduce raw food intake.
Some examples of food are: carrots, summer squash, eggplant, zucchini, napa cabbage, corn, tomato, sprouts, alfalfa, cucumber, grapes, melons, mint, mung beans, peaches, yellow rice, sticky rice, sauerkraut, sourdough, yogurt, lotus seed, coix seeds, and fox nut.
TO DO: We want to foster Yin and slow down while building up Lung energy and moving the Large Intestine. Getting more sleep and going to bed earlier will help us slow down. Avoiding AC, direct fans, wind and making sure hair is dry before going to bed will help keep the body warm and relaxed. Ways to start planning for the Winter ahead include: journaling, writing, reading, stretching, and practicing gratitude.
TO USE: Topically, we can add the Laurel Whole Plant Organics Unburden Serum. Its name comes from the ability to support all skin functions by lifting the burden of inflammation- the root cause of all secondary skin symptoms. Secondary skin symptoms include but are not limited to: acne, rosacea, redness, broken capillaries, excessive dryness, loss of elasticity, and even hyperpigmentation.
This serum contains plants that have a lymph affinity; this encourages ease, flow and release of the stagnation that shows up in our Qi, lymph, fascia, and connective tissue. You can use it daily, morning and night. We recommend cleansing, hydrating with a hydrosol or elixir, and then taking the time to apply the serum in gentle strokes moving up and outward to promote movement and lifting.
TO USE: Acupuncture during this time can help build up lung energy. In holistic medicine practices this is vital to prepare the immune system for the winter months. Balancing yin lung and yang large intestine will help you feel grounded and strong during this time.
Acupressure Zu San Li point- it is located below your kneecap, between the two bones of your lower leg. It’s about 2 to 3 inches below the knee on the outer side of your leg.
You can find it by putting your hand on the outer side of the leg over your knee with your fingers facing down. The point is between the tips of your fourth and fifth fingers. Zu san li is the small dent beneath the kneecap and between the bones.