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Good Sense in Autumn

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Sink and Retreat
Autumn is the time of year when the Chi or Energy around us is ‘sinking’  and ‘retreating.’ As plant life sends its Life Force down, deep into its roots, the days shorten all the way to Winter solstice.

Just as we put away our Summer clothes and replace them with what we’ll wear in Autumn and Winter, there are other day-to-day things we need to adjust also: like what to eat, how to exercise, how much rest to get.

The animals and plants who share the Earth with us know they need to adjust to the change of season. Now is the time for people to recover our knowing about how to change with the seasons of the year - and the seasons of our life - so we can stay healthy and pass on a healthy environment to our children and next generations.

Spring Haiku

warbler on plum blossom

The warbler
wipes its muddy feet
on the plum blossoms
— Issa

Your health in Spring is determined by the health of your Liver and the energy it provides. When your Liver energy is balanced in Spring you feel uplifted, with a sense of inner ‘softness and kindness’; when the Liver is out-of-balance a ‘revved-up and restless’ feeling — inside and out — is common.

There’s no better time than NOW! to start the energy balancing process.

Valentine’s Day: A Matter of the Heart (and Kidneys)

Happy Valentine’s Day! a celebration of the Heart — whose health depends on strong Kidneys. As Valentine’s Day inspires you to feel love in your heart, I encourage you to also focus for a minute or two on the level of energy (health) you’re feeling, or not feeling, in your Heart and Kidneys.

Tired Kidneys


Your Kidneys are probably pretty pooped by this time in Winter, leaving you feeling low in energy. Look at the Five Element Cycle of Regulation illustration on this page and you’ll notice that the ‘Water’ element, embodied in your Kidneys, regulates the ‘Fire’ element, which is embodied in your Heart.

So if your Kidneys are low in energy they won’t be able to adequately support the Heart, and as a result, the Heart function can get a bit out of alignment.

5 Element Theory: Cycle of Regulation

Heart Problems

If you’re already predisposed to Heart problems, you may be experiencing things like a little bit of extra pressure in the chest, or maybe some mild heart irregularities in the rhythm and beat, usually not to the extent of interfering with breathing; but for people who have compromised Heart energy, these symptoms may be more present at this point in Winter.

Now is the time of year to start rebuilding the strength of your Kidneys.

Now is the time of year to start rebuilding the strength of your Kidneys.

Strengthening Kidneys and Heart

A ‘rule of thumb’ for good health is this: toward the middle and end of each season, focus on rebuilding the strength of the organ that is the focal point for that season. Right now, in Mid-Winter, it’s your Kidneys. And because each organ system has a companion organ that it regulates, (at mid-winter it’s your Heart), it’s a good idea to pay some attention to the companion organ too so that it will be in tune and ready to go when its season to perform comes—for the Heart, that’s summer).

How To Strengthen Your Organs

Acupuncture, Chinese Medicinal Herbs, Healthy Eating: The 5 Element Way and Chi Kung are simple, time-tested ways to balance the energy in the seasonally affected organs, and to build your overall level of energy so that you can enjoy that most wonderful, yet subtle, of feelings: Good Health!

Related Articles
What You Need to Know About Winter
Staying Healthy in Winter
Winter Photos

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IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.