TCM and the Autumn Evolution

The Yin to Springtime's Yang

Shorter days, chilly nights—there’s change in the air, and we’re not just talkin’ decorative gourd season, here. Carefree summer days have been supplanted by work and emotional bracing for the winter ahead. Nature releases it’s bounty in swashes of orange and reds and browns, then wipes the palette bare to prepare for it’s next important phase.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), autumn is associated with the element of metal. Its Yin organ is the lungs. Just as the earth takes a moment to exhale after a bountiful growing season, so too should we. Right now as you read this, take a moment to fill your lungs, then and exhale gently. Savor that breath, but allow it to let go of the season past, stagnations, and yes—any emotions you might have hiding in there. Do it again. Really, go ahead. One more time. A full, deep breath and long, gentle exhalation. Just like an autumn day.

Everything in TCM has an opposite, and the Yang partner to the Yin lungs is the large intestine. When functioning properly, the lungs and the intestines both take good things in and get rid of waste. Keeping them in working order is crucial to physical and emotional well-being. According to TCM, up top—apples lubricate the lungs, and down below—apples treat indigestion and constipation. Next to pumpkins and gourds, everyone knows that autumn is the season for apples. You see how it all fits together?

Many people associate springtime with spring cleaning and clearing out, getting rid of the unneeded—but autumn is just as, if not more appropriate for “letting go”. Like deciduous trees, we humans don’t and shouldn’t hang on to what’s not needed. It’s time to drop the foliage that served you well, as well as the stuff that didn’t. Take a deep breath. Revel in knowing that autumn isn’t the end of one season, but the fresh beginning of another.

If you’re feeling “stuck” and a few fresh apples don’t seem to do the trick, we’re here to help. With Eastern Nutrition Counseling, Bodywork services, and Acupuncture available seven days per week, your autumn evolution just may be your most bountiful and fortifying yet.

Look for Healing Foundations at the Logan Square Farmers Market this Sunday; October 4th, from 10am-3pm. We'll have complimentary auricluar acupuncture, chair massage...and there'll be apples a-plenty to choose from!