Autumn - a time of letting go

What does autumn mean in Chinese medicine?

Though most of us enjoy autumn, many don't, imagining that it means the end of all good things until spring and summer at last come round again. But this is a positive time. In order to have spring and summer, you have to have autumn and winter: the leaves and fruits fall, nourishing the soil so more can flourish the following year. It's Yin and Yang, a beautiful balance, and you can't have one without the other.

In Chinese medicine, autumn is the time of the Metal element, traditionally associated with grief and loss, but also meaning simply a time of moving on and letting go. This encompasses both physical possessions and also any emotions that we may have been clinging too.

So how can you get your energy flowing smoothly this autumn?

Lungs and Large Intestine: is everything working properly?

These are the organs associated with the Metal element and, as with all organs of the body, they can be affected adversely by physical and/or emotional strain. If they are out of balance energetically, you may find yourself prone to colds or allergies, or have difficulties with digestion. Both organs have a role in distilling, and then ridding the body of that which it no longer needs. If you suffer from symptoms like this, or are just struggling to move on emotionally, acupuncture can really help at this time of year.

Just let go

Another thing you can do is more practical: you can have an 'autumn clean'.

What possessions do you have that you no longer need? Take some time to consider what you surround yourself with. Be brave and get rid of anything you haven't worn, used or even done (plans count too) since the beginning of the year. Recycle what you can or donate to charity, knowing that as much as possible won't be wasted. This is a wonderful way of preparing yourself for the wind-down to the relative stillness and quietness of winter, enabling you to enter the season of rest and recuperation for next spring with a clear body and mind.

Enjoy your autumn!

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