Hello Fall! As the season changes, it is a good time to take cues from nature and adapt your lifestyle to welcome the new season and stay healthy. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on living in harmony with the flow of the seasons to prevent illness and imbalance. Here are a few tips for staying healthy this Fall:
- Ditch the salad and frozen smoothies.
Begin introducing warmer, heartier cooked foods such as soups, stews, hot cereals, roasted nuts, etc. while decreasing raw veggies, juices, and cold foods that are more appropriate when the temperature is warmer. Icy cold and raw foods are harder for your digestive system to break down and turn into energy. Think of your digestive system as a fire. Consuming icy cold beverages and food is like throwing water on the fire and putting it out. Your digestive system can't do its job efficiently and over time you may develop digestive complaints, fatigue and weight gain. This is even more important as we head into the cold months.
- Eat seasonally.
Enjoy the abundance and harvest of fall produce. Good Fall seasonal choices: Apples, Pears, Figs, Persimmons, root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, pumpkin & squash).
- Wear a scarf.
Not only is it fashionable and fun to wear a scarf, but it protects the back of the neck & upper back which is our “wind gate”, a vulnerable area that, when exposed to cold & wind can allow viruses and pathogens to invade.
- Get more rest and quiet time.
Fall is traditionally a time to slow down and conserve our energy for the winter. Less activity and more contemplation is favorable. Adjust your schedule so you retire earlier at night and sleep a bit later in the morning, even if your schedule only allows 15-30 minutes. Reading, meditation, and indoor hobbies are great during the cool and windy months.
- Get an acupuncture tune-up!
Acupuncture helps boost the immune system, regulate your energy and more. Even if you don’t have any health complaints, a tune-up can help keep all the body’s systems functioning smoothly through the transition of the seasons.
- Clear your clutter!
Fall is also a time for reflection and shifting your energies and focus inward. Fall can be a common time of the year to experience or revisit sadness, grief or feeling ‘stuck’. A simple activity that can be helpful is to clean out your closet and ‘let go’ of items that you are no longer using. Recycle old clothing and household items. Clearing clutter lightens the spirit and can provide the needed momentum to help get through feelings of grief or stagnation.
- Pay attention to your Lungs & Large Intestines.
According to Chinese Medicine, Fall is associated with the Lungs and Large Intestine. This means these organs are more susceptible to imbalance during this season. Many people suffer colds and the flu. Allergies and asthma can also flare up. Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Colitis are other common problems that may either begin or flare up during this time. The lung organ system opens to the exterior through the nose, where viruses and bacteria can easily invade. Using a neti pot can help flush out bacteria and keep sinuses healthy. Consider doing a gentle detox program to keep the lung and large intestines, two of our primary detox organs, healthy and running smoothly.