In Chinese medicine the season autumn is associated with metal and the lungs. Moving away from the external in summer we now move to the internal.
Here are a few ways to protect your lungs and boost your health this autumn and for the year to come:
Walk Outside –
We can strengthen our lungs by walking outside and breathing deeply through our nose; the air in autumn takes on a new crispness and filling your lungs with that clean, cool autumn air is what we need. Plus it’s one of the most beautiful seasons to do it!
Wrap up… with a scarf –
As autumn is associated with wind, it is considered the major cause of illness in traditional Chinese patterns of disharmony. A simple thing like wearing a scarf to keep our necks covered (as cold is said to enter most easily at the neck) to keep us warm is a great easy and stylish way to do this!
The most beneficial foods to eat –
As the weather gets colder in autumn, it is best to start eating more warming foods as opposed to eating cooling foods like salads and raw foods. We need to nourish our bodies and by eating the right foods to do this it will help to support our immune system through the months to come and prevent us getting those nasty colds and coughs. Homemade soups, stews and slow cooker meals are perfect which also help to support the digestive system. Try to minimise dairy as it can be congesting. Warming foods include - white rice, white beans, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, turnip, parsnips, cabbage, almonds, walnuts, pears, mushrooms. These are all nurturing and softening foods for our bodies at this time. Try to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season which helps to support our bodies with the changes of season. Finding a local farmers market is a great way to find all of the fresh in season fruit and vegetables that you may not be able to find in your local supermarket. You may also pick up some recipes that you haven’t tried before – bonus!
Drink water at room temperature –
One way of keeping your body in balance is by drinking your daily glasses of water warm or room temperature. While you should do be doing this all year round, you can start by doing it now in the autumn season as the arrival of cooler temperatures it will be very beneficial to your body. It is easier for the body to welcome room temperature water as it is not used to ice cold or cooler water entering it, more energy is required for the cold water to adapt in our system to warm the water to body temperature.
Sleep more –
By making sure you get a good night’s sleep, getting in to a regular sleeping pattern and waking early to start the day fresh will help your immune system, by getting all the rest you need. The optimum time for sleep is between 10pm-6am.
By practicing the above this autumn you will be helping your bodies adapt and work with the season to make sure you feel healthy and energised for whatever the season brings you and will prepare you for the next season, winter!
Published by Hannah Sadaoui, Mind Body Solutions Complementary Medicine Practitioner.