By Laura Zaranski, L.Ac.
Fall corresponds with the “Metal” element, which in turn is conceptually related to the lung and large intestine. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the lung is responsible for respiration and exchange of fluids through the skin, pores and nose. When the lung functions smoothly, normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide happens, the pores easily adjust to temperature changes both internally and environmentally, and the body can process mucus fluids more efficiently.
During the change of seasons, in March and September specifically, the body requires a lot of energy to handle hot to cold temperature changes. The liver controls this transition, so during these months, it is often common to see an increase in symptoms especially joint and muscle pain or tension, emotional increases in anxiety or depression, digestive problems like reflux or bloating occur OR more lung issues like fatigue, breathing difficulties, sinus congestion or allergies, skin conditions/rashes, asthma and of course increased risk for cold symptoms.
THIS IS EXPECTED & TEMPORARY!
Within two weeks past the equinox, (9/23/15), the liver calms down, the lungs acclimate to the weather changes and symptoms abate.
What can you do?
- dress appropriately/stay out of cold wind: wear a scarf around your neck in cold winds and put on a light jacket as the weather transitions from hot to cold.
- drink 2L of water/day-fall dryness zaps your body of needed water to keep fluids (like phlegm) thin and moving
- increase your intake of apples and pears (both good for moistening and strengthening the lungs)
- get more rest-remember, lower light volumes often cause drowsiness but we often keep going like full summer energy.
- breathe deeply-take a yoga or meditation class to calm and oxygenate the body
- avoid dairy-it increase mucous production
Let your acupuncturist know if you are experience these symptoms or if you experience increased symptoms to adjust points as necessary to handle this temporary Fall imbalance.
If you would like more info on the lungs or liver, please ask the front desk for the ORGAN SHEETS.