September 23rd is the first official day of Fall and with it we are seeing the late summer heat slowly giving way to the cooler temperatures of Autumn.
In Chinese Medicine this represents a transition from the Earth element, which governs the Spleen and Stomach channels, to the Metal element, which governs the Lungs and Large Intestine channels.
The interplay between the Spleen and Lungs in particular fuels our immune function making this a delicate seasonal transition for our health, and a critical time to strengthen immunity.
To help you make this transition as smooth as possible, here are 5 tips from a Chinese Medicine perspective that will help you bolster the Spleen and the Lungs, improve your immunity, and kick Fall colds and flus to the curb!
Top 5 Fall Health Tips
1. Enjoy Slow Roasted Vegetables: Roasted Vegetables make the spleen happy, while strengthening the immune system and drying dampness in the body. Dampness is a huge contributing factor to weight gain.
2. Eat Pears - in Chinese Medicine pears can nourish Yin and help to resolve phlegm. A common food cure for a phlegmy cough is actually to steam a pear stuffed with Chuan Bei Mu or Fritillaria (edible herb) inside and eat it!
3. Drink Room Temperature or Warm Water - hydrate hydrate hydrate! Autumn is an important time to nourish the Yin of the Lungs in particular to prepare for the cold dryness of winter. Yes, it rains perpetually here in the Pacific Northwest, but many people find they still suffer from dry hands, elbows, knees and feet during this time. That is due to the energetic dryness of the season. Prepare now suffer less later.
4. Try Goji Berries and Red Dates - Goji Berries are an excellent edible Lung Yin tonic, and Red Dates are considered a “complex sweet” flavor that can tonify the Qi of the Spleen. An excellent addition to Chicken Soup or morning oatmeal!
5. Clean House, Eat Flax - The Large Intestine is about elimination, physical, mental and energetic. The Metal element in general also craves order, so this is an important time to get your house in order on all levels. Tidy up, throw away things you don’t need, clear your mind avoiding or deflecting drama, and keep your intestines doing the same with some Omega rich Flax - ground seeds, or meal, is best - 2 Tbsp. per day.
6. Get Acupuncture- Acupuncture can harmonize the body’s energies to align with the change in seasons. This improves immunity, increases energy and decreases stress.