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Weathering The Seasons: Late Summer—Early Fall

Autumn Road

We know about seasonal energy from a common-sense point of view.

We know when to take out and put away our seasonal clothing. We know about spring cleaning. We know about winterizing our homes and cars. But we don’t normally connect our body’s needs to the season, except when it gets too hot or too cold.

By paying attention to seasonal energy, you can have more personal energy year-round—while greatly reducing your vulnerability to colds, flu and other seasonal discomforts.

Your Body In Late Summer and Autumn

Of all the seasonal changes of the year, the change from Summer-to-Autumn is the most complex, because there are more energy interactions occurring than usual.

Late Summer has a combined effect on your body’s Heart, Digestive, and Lung energies. With all these energies swirling around, it’s a challenging time for our bodies.

Rebuild Heart and Kidney Energy

Beginning to rebuild Heart and Kidney energy now is also important because their strength gets depleted over the course of the Summer. Hot weather puts a lot of stress on the Heart and Kidneys. So to the extent you’ve experienced very hot weather over the Summer, to that extent your Heart and Kidney energy has been depleted and needs to be replenished.

Swirling Energy

Late Summer is primarily the time of the digestive energy, so your Pancreas, Stomach and digestive absorption are the focus of the body’s attention now. And by the time we arrive at mid-September, the focus will shift again; at that time it will be to the Lungs.

So while the digestive system generally needs a boost at the end of each season, this is especially important at the end of Late Summer because your body needs to be as able as possible to digest and absorb nutrients as it prepares for Autumn and Winter.

Swirling Energy

When Autumn arrives, your Lungs will be doing the heavy lifting, so their energy needs to be kept in balance to ward off invasions of colds and flu. 

Oriental Medicine can help ...

Swirling Energy

Being Consistent—Being Healthy

Garden peony ... consistently beautiful

When it comes to healthy living, consistency is an important habit to cultivate.

Your body requires consistency just to stay alive:

  • Consistent food and water.
  • Consistent rest.
  • Consistent hygiene.
  • And then there are illness-preventing habits you can develop through consistency that help you thrive—a few of them are:

  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Exercising in a healthy way.
  • Keeping your body’s energy strong and flowing.
  • (Traditionally, in the West we have not had a specific way of keeping the body’s energy strong and flowing, but we do now that acupuncture, Five Element diet & nutrition, Chinese medicinal herbs and Chi Kung are readily available in many places.)

    Consistency is the Way
    Practicing consistency is what the Japanese call ‘Do’ and the Chinese call ‘Tao’; both meaning “The Way.” And from an Oriental Medicine point of view, practicing consistency is “The Way of Health.”

    Healthy Consistency Prevents Illness
    When you treat your body with healthy consistency you’re putting yourself in a position where you can better prevent illness. This is the opposite of the mindset that says—implicitly or explicitly—”I’ll just deal with whatever comes up when it happens.”—a health plan fraught with potential surprises.

    Once we establish a consistent rhythm of healthy habits and attitudes we set a momentum in motion which carries us into a healthier, happier life.

    Getting Ready for Fire Season

    Hawaiian lava flow

    It’s June, the third month of Spring; the time where the energy (Chi) - inside and outside of you - begins its shift from the Wood element to the Fire Element.  The temperatures are rising, the air is getting dryer - the conditions that support fire.

    From an Oriental Medicine point of view, this metaphorical thinking points out that to stay healthy over the next few months, your organs need to be balanced so that they’re able to deal with conditions caused by heat: primarily your Heart and Kidneys. Heart is the organ associated with Fire energy, and Kidneys with Water.

    The Heart is most affected during summer, and consequently the Kidneys have to work hard to keep things cooled down, because Water regulates Fire.

    Back to the Center
    The first few weeks of June are also a good time to pay attention to your digestion. As one season is close to becoming the next, a re-centering takes place. During this transition time - about three weeks prior to the equinox or solstice - the energy (Chi) grounds itself before moving into the seasonal phase. This coming back to center, or rooting, is an attribute of the Earth element, which affects the Stomach and overall digestive processes. Then, after the equinox, you’ll find that your body and mind are more affected by the Fire energy.

    Catching Fire
    So what are some health issues to be conscious of during the summer Fire season?

  • Spikes in blood pressure or heart irregularity.
  • (Remember: Heart is the Fire organ).

  • Insomnia. This may be an indicator of Heart imbalance.
  • Feelings of anxiety and fear stemming from weakness in the Kidneys.
  • Headache, heartburn, and upper body heat associated with “heat rising” in the body.
  • Containing Fire
    Clearly fire is a good thing. It is a foundational element of life. And, we all know the damaging effects that out of control fire causes.

    Oriental Medicine is a very effective way to enhance the Fire power in your body while simultaneously strengthening the organs that regulate it. The result: a healthy, balanced body and mind, “firing on all pistons.”

    Read our article Staying Healthy in Summer to find out some simple things that promote summer health and happiness.

     

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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.