Autumn is officially here. We’re sharing tips and advice from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) so you can stay healthy this season. According to TCM, seasonal changes are reflected in our physical and emotional bodies so it’s helpful to make lifestyle changes that compliment the distinctive energy of each season. In TCM, the theme of autumn is letting go - re-evaluating your life through introspection and releasing what no longer serves you. Here’s how you can live in harmony with autumn’s unique element, organs, energy, and emotions.
The characteristics of the metal element can be described as 'back to school mode'. It’s all about organizing, re-evaluating goals and priorities, and creating new structured routines. This includes letting go of old ideas and habits to make room for the new. The metal element is also known to have a cool energy so TCM recommends introducing more warm foods and drinks like tea to your diet.
Organs: lungs, large intestines
According to TCM, autumn is a time to take care of the lungs and large intestines. The theme of letting go can also be seen here as a deep, clearing exhale helps us to let go of tension and stress in the body, and our large intestines let go of toxins and waste products. Coughing, allergies, asthma, diarrhea or constipation are signs of imbalance in the lungs and large intestines. Stay healthy and balanced with oolong tea, which boosts the immune system, and osmanthus oolong, which aids the respiratory system.
Autumn is the beginning of the yin cycle as days get shorter and the air becomes more cool and dry. Yin energy is cool, dark, slow, and reflective. This energy guides us to soften our grip to let go of the old and become more open to new beginnings. Black tea compliments the slow, reflective energy of yin as it is less caffeinated than coffee and contains L-theanine, which helps to keep you calm yet mentally alert.
Emotions: grief, nostalgia
Grief and nostalgia are the collective emotions of autumn in TCM. The dropping of leaves, cooler weather, and more time indoors can heighten these emotions. If you find yourself feeling sad, remember that it’s the autumn energy and be gentle with yourself. Jasmine tea is perfect to balance out these emotions as it’s a natural antidepressant that is used in aromatherapy to uplift the mood.
Follow these simple lifestyle changes to support your body's transition to autumn. Make the most of the season's natural energies to slow down, reflect, and make necessary changes to your life. What will you let go of this autumn?