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How To Protect and Strengthen Your Lungs In Autumn

Japanese woodblock print of forest and mountains

Dancing gold
The forest rustles
Alive with surrendering leaves
— Lao Xian


Fall is the time of year when the Lungs and immune system are working hard to help your body adapt to the changing weather.

Working together, your body’s organs are a networked system that receives, transforms and transmits energy. A balanced system is a healthy system, and in Autumn, you want to make sure that your Lungs get tuned-up. Oriental Medicine does that.

Lungs Are Most Sensitive In Autumn

The Lungs are the focal point of your body’s energy network in Autumn. So now is the time to do some very simple things that will protect your Lungs from the forces that cause cold and flu, by preparing them to deal with the dampness and cold that come with Autumn and Winter.

Five Ways To PROTECT Your Lungs

  • Use a scarf or collar to cover the front and back of your neck when you go outside.
  • Avoid drafts and wind.
  • Wear a dust mask, or other cover, when working around dust, spores or other airborne contaminants.
  • Use Chinese medical herb formulas, or other internal protection, to guard against colds, flu and other contagious illnesses.
  • Be mindful of any intuitive insights you may have regarding your health.

Five Ways To STRENGTHEN Your Lungs

  • Eat foods that nourish the Lungs. These include: daikon radish, lotus root, maiitake mushrooms, and Chinese herb formulas.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Reduce and keep stress low. (Easier said than done ... but doable.)
  • Pace yourself. Make sure to save some of your energy.
  • Begin developing—or maintain—an inner practice  like meditation or deep breathing to help your body relax and rejuvenate.

So, as the days continue to shorten and the nights get longer, remember to slow down to match the deepening  of the seasonal energy. 

Conserve and enjoy!

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.

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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.