As the temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter during this autumn season, I wanted to share with you the importance of adjusting during this seasonal transition. In Chinese Medicine, we are very much connected to nature and is believed that the seasonal changes affect both our physical and emotional body.
Autumn is the end of the growing season, the leaves transition into vibrant colour before falling to the ground, the fruits and vegetables have been harvested and what is left drops to the the earth. All is mixed and absorbed into the soil as it is composted. This transforms into nourishment for the Spring season fo new life, growth and bloom. So how does this relate to us? This time of year is a great time to clean out the negative and learn more from ourselves. Nature is bare and has more space. This is the time to LET GO!
Many of us hold onto old patterns, habits, stuff and it is important to be able to release this for mental clarity, emotional peace and physical health. This energy of this season is quite beautiful. By letting go of the waste, staleness, negativity and heaviness in your life, you become more receptive of the pure, new , creativity and positive possibilities. This season of Autumn allows you to move forward feeling lighter and reveals what is most precious in your life. There is a higher state of elevation in your mind, body and spirit. With this higher vibration, we have more moments of good feelings, inspiration and increased energy. There is a flow that takes place where we feel more harmonious with the internal and external aspects of our lives.
Autumn is connected to the element of Metal. Metal can be thought of as a sword that is strong, hard and precise. The Earth gives structure and is filled with this precious metals of gold, silver and minerals. We all uniquely contain these precious gems within us. It is important to have this sense of organization and structure but not to feel too rigid. Life is always evolving and changing so awareness is key to move with flow. Otherwise, there can be characteristics of over the top perfectionism, holding onto feeling and negative emotions, fear of confrontation, having obsessive compulsive tendencies to name a few. Life is about having and cultivating balance. This can lead to some symptoms of physical issues if our Metal quality is weak.
With each season in Chinese Medicine, there is a relationship to the health of our organs from a physical and emotional aspect. During this time of year we see more people feeling depressed, getting runny noses, sore throats, allergies, and coughs. For Autumn, there is a focus to work on our protective energy called 'WEI QI' both for our immune system and our emotional state. Strengthening the health of our LUNGS and RESPIRATORY system is a priority. The Yin organ, the lungs, are considered 'delicate organs' as the connection of the body and outside world can easily be attacked with pathogens. Our lungs are said to govern our Qi, our life force energy as we bring in oxygen to nourish our tissues and strengthen our immune system. Our lungs can are also responsible for holding emotions of grief, sadness and depression. This is the time to be aware, work with and learn to let go of negative blockages to keep the lung Qi strong and flowing. You will then be clearer in thought, open to new ideas and changes, feel more positive, experience more personal growth and cultivate inner peace. When working and strengthening our lungs, the LARGE INTESTINES are energetically connected so they are affected and healing can take place as well. The Yang organ, the large intestine, is responsible for healthy digestion and elimination of toxins from our system. When there is an obstruction in our Qi flow, the large intestines could make it difficult for us to let go (physically and emotionally), can make us more stubborn, lead to stagnation in our lives and having a more negative outlook. Both our lung and large intestine Qi can affect our immune system.
If you experience weak lung and large intestine Qi, here are some physical symptoms that can pop up; asthma, COPD, Bronchitis, Colitis, Diverticulitis, Lung Respiratory Disorders, Sinus issues, Skin disorders (rashes, eczema, psoriasis, delicate skin), dehydration, venous circulation issues, constipation, IBS, IBD, Crohn's , maybe you don't sweat, shallow breath, front head headaches, dryness, cracked lips, congested mucus, just to name a few. These can be seen as imbalances in the body and stagnation. Perhaps you are holding onto sadness and grief, or maybe there is lack of movement from sitting too much at your desk or watching tv. Perhaps it has to do with foods you are consuming. How about how you talk to yourself on a daily basis. Are you loving and caring towards yourself or are you overcritical and feeling like your are not enough?
Well, first off you are enough!!! You are special and unique. Every day I want you to look in the mirror, take a few long deep breaths into you belly in and out through your nose. Try to exhale longer than your inhale (eg 4 counts in and 6 or 8 counts out). Then after feeling a sense of calm within tell yourself "I love you". Yes, this may seem silly. Say it out loud and look into your eyes. Feel it and believe it. Every day this is something you can do for you.
Now there are many ways we can embrace this beautiful season of Autumn to strengthen our Wei Qi. This is a great time to dive deep and express your grief and sadness. To really release and not suppress these heavy feelings. This unprocessed grief can stagnate into the lung meridian (energy channel). Feel lighter and more free, open and inspired. Let go to release stagnation of your large intestine Qi. Feel a sense of relaxation, flow with life verses resisting, focus on the day to day moments and purpose releasing what no longer serves you.
A few tips to start your healing journey. Autumn is a great time to:
1) Clear the Clutter from your Home, Go through your closets and clear out clothes and items that are taking up space that is not bringing you joy.
2) Foods/Nutrition - Start eating warm foods such as soups, oatmeal, stews, cooked vegetables, apples, pears, nuts, seeds, high fibre foods, lemons, limes, grapefruit, add in garlic, cinnamon, onions, chilli, ginger, olives, fermented foods, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens. Add in some teas like lemon, oolong, Irish breakfast, golden Pue-erh and Chai. Try to avoid cold raw foods during this time of year.
3) Connect with Nature. Temperatures are dropping so it is important to layer up and cover the nape of your neck with a scarf. Enjoy the colours, watch a sunset, look at the stars, go to the beach, be in the forest. This can be so very helpful when feeling depressed or having low energy. This can help get you out of a slump of feeling depressed and give you that positive boost you need.
4) Slow Down - This is the time to move at a slower more intentional pace. Invite more time for daily rest, perhaps re-adjust your exercise routine, avoid over scheduling and sleep more. Embrace the changes of this season and naturally slow down from the perhaps very active summer you have had. Breathe deep...
5) Do Some Grief Work. Acknowledge feelings you are having. Create a practice to help move these feelings of loss or sadness to move through you in a healthy way. Feel the sadness and the loss so you can let go in your own time.
6) Get Organized - this is when the Metal element thrives. As you get organized, then you create space. When there is space, you can feel more creative, inspired, find purpose and make plans.
7) Practice Qigong - Qigong, known as 'the art of effortless power', works with our life-force energy to help transform stress into vibrant energy. What a beautiful practice to cultivate peace and healing within. Move your energy, heal, connect to self and those around you, feel grounded, improve self confidence, decrease pain, increase inner strength, let go and feel excited and alive. So good for mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and healing. A powerful Mind - Body connection can be achieved. You can take control of your own health!
I am teaching a Qigong for Autumn Session starting November 4th for 4 weeks via Zoom at 10am EST. All are welcome and this practice can be enjoyed seated or standing. All you need are comfortable clothes and bare feet or supportive shoes. We will be working on special breath techniques, lung and large intestine acupressure points, activations, gentle movements, stretches, flows, the Dance of Autumn and meditation. Recordings are available for 5 days if you are unable to make it live. For more information and to register please visit:
Movement is key to longevity and feeling our best. Just like the seasons, our lives are always changing along with our emotions which can influence our wellbeing. Sometimes we need some added support to help us begin, start back or have that accountability to stay on course. Having someone to listen and be a guide can be just what you need on your journey to make the lasting transformations you desire. Please feel free to reach out and connect if you have any questions and would like to learn more about and enrol in weekly and special seasonal Qigong or Yoga classes and/or make an appointment for my Holistic Wellness Coaching Services.
Love, Light & Qi
Jennifer Nocito RHC HCA
Certified HolisticWellness Coach, Certified Qigong/Yoga/Pilates/Meditation Teacher,
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2vTiffoLV4JUSbEIIkXXRQ
Yoga First and Wellness