In Five Phase theory which comes from the ancient Chinese medical perspective, each season is associated with a particular element, organ system, and emotion. Understanding the seasonal associations can be a helpful way to understand ourselves as connected to the environment around us, and shed light on common themes that you may notice coming up for yourself and those around you.
The season of autumn is associated with the Metal element. This time is moving from the grounded Earth time of late summer into the sharper time of autumnal Metal.
The emotion associated with this time is grief. It is normal to be moving through a sense of loss during this season, as the harvest of late summer gives way to the leaves withering and falling. There is a release necessary in order to allow for change. The metal element is also associated with a sense of structure. It’s a great time to create more boundaries and organization in your life. This is a great time to clear our internally and externally. What old resentments can you let go of? Is there an area of clutter in your home that you can tend to? Where in your life can you create more order? What rituals will bring you closer to your authentic self? While asking these questions, take care not to overexert yourself. The outward expansion of the summertime has ended, and the quieter, more restorative season has begun.
The Lung and Large Intestine are the organs associated with this phase, or element. As many of us know here in the west, the Lung is an important organ for immunity. Strengthen your immunity by engaging in deep, cleansing breaths throughout your day. At least twice a day, perhaps in the morning when you wake and at night before you go to sleep, spend just a few minutes breathing deep into your lungs through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Take brisk walks outside to bring fresh air into the lungs. The Large Intestine is the organ of elimination. The Autumn can be a wonderful time to do a gentle cleanse or simplify the way you’re eating. Focus on warm, cooked foods like soups and stews. Incorporate warming spices like cinnamon and cumin, and enjoy warm herbal teas.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are powerful ways to harmonize your individual body and mind with larger environmental factors. The metal season is a great time to come in for treatment, taking advantage of the routine oriented nature of this time to prepare for the colder and more internal winter months ahead.
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