Welcome to Autumn

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by Raymond-
As the nights draw in and Autumn hugs us with its chilly arms, I acknowledge and embrace the closing of one season and the opening of another. Based on traditional Chinese philosophy and medicine, Autumn is the time that the Yang energy of summer transforms and becomes more Yin. It signifies gathering, reflecting, resting and consolidating ahead of Winter. It is associated with the element of Metal and the organ is the Lung.
Although our emotional state and energy levels at this time of year can be affected by the decreasing levels of sunlight and a change in weather (particularly the dampness), an awareness and harmonising with the nature of autumn helps us manage the impact of this natural and beautiful transformation on our physical and emotional health.

One way of doing this is by ensuring that we get enough sleep, which is particularly vital during this time of year. Sleep is deeply regenerative, and it helps support and strengthens our immune system. Nurturing good sleep hygiene is key to health and growth.

We may have unconsciously restricted our airways due to our anxieties around Covid. If this is the case with you, remind yourself to breathe by fully expanding the belly and the upper lobes of your lungs. There has never been a better time to pick up a breath-work or a meditation practice.

As we are entering the season of coughs and colds, I suggest harnessing the powerful antiviral properties of essential oils. Olbas oil is available from all from chemists (there is a children version too) and contains Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Cajeput, Wintergreen, Juniper and Clove. Put 2-4 drops into the palm of your hand and rub it vigorously. Either inhale it from your cupped hands or rub them around your neck and shoulders, creating a powerful aromatic shield! Individual essential oils you may also consider include: T-tree, Lavender, Hyssop, Pine and Ravensara. Make a habit of using them out in public and certainly during family outbreaks at home.

Maintaining regular exercise is also important during Autumn! Exercise promotes the flow of energy around the body, strengthens the Lungs, and releases lots of ‘happy hormones’ to keep your mood balanced and stable.  Do not be tempted to use the more unpredictable colder autumnal weather as an excuse to become less inactive, particularly when there are so many beautiful things to see outdoors with the abundance of Autumn colours all around us… So get out there and let your energy flow and transform, just remember to wrap up warm!

Eating in accordance with the seasons will boost your ability to ward off symptoms of ill health that may be more prevalent at any given time of year. In Chinese medicine and Taoist tradition, Autumn has a downward movement, illustrated by the growth of root vegetables. We begin to eat warmer, cooked meals, with plenty of seasonal vegetables. The taste of Metal is classed as pungent, which would mean adding produce like garlic, cinnamon and ginger to your food as a great way to boost your health right now. If you are supplementing, please research the quality of your suppliers or ask for advice from a naturopath or nutritionist.

The most important part to this is maintaining our mental and emotional well-being so be sure to nurture yourself and do things that lift your mood and make you smile.

27th September 2020