Living with the Season: Fall

Hi Friends! Happy Fall Y’all!

I love fall. The crisp cool weather, the tasty treats, the layering options of scarves and boots, and of course the gorgeous leaves changing color. The start of fall is the perfect time to check in with yourself and take note of some shifts you should take. The weather obviously tells us things are changing, so we must too.

And don’t worry, not all change is bad! From my experience, if you allow it, most change can be good.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the season of fall corresponds with the Lung* and it begins the transition of the summer (yang) time to the winter (yin) time. The way you transition during the fall can either help your qi or add some extra work for your qi.

Recommendations from the Yellow Emperor for the season of fall:

  • Go to bed with the sunset and get up with the sunrise.
    • In theory, this sounds great, but we all know this may not be possible. Either way, it’s helpful to try to get a little more sleep.
    • As we enter more of a yin time (opposed to yang) we require more rest.
  • Eat warm, cooked foods.
    • Anything we consume our Spleen and Stomach have to digest, transform, and transport. The Spleen and Stomach are like a melting pot. Everything has to be heated to be used. If you consume a lot of cold/ raw/ frozen foods and drinks, especially during the fall and winter, your Spleen and Stomach are having to work extra hard.
    • This can result in digestion issues, fatigue, and illnesses.
  • Stay warm.
    • It’s tempting to want to get the last wear out of your favorite summer sandals and t-shirts, but be sure to layer up with scarves and sweaters to keep your qi strong.
    • All of the main acupuncture channels start or end in your feet, so it’s also important and helpful to keep your feet warm.
    • Be sure to layer up, especially around your head and neck to protect the very vital area where External Pathogenic Invaders (EPI’s) can invade the body.
  • Take time to gather one’s spirit and energy.
    • With the transition from yang to yin, now is a great time to take stock of where you are, how you’re feeling, and what you need to change in your life to live your best life.
  • Remain calm and peaceful, and try to avoid feelings of depression or grief.
    • The emotion of sadness belongs to the Lung and fall time according to TCM.
    • This also may correlate with people reporting more sadness and feeling down due to the less sun time.
  • Stay focused.
    • It’s easy to get scattered and spread too thin. During the fall is a great time to evaluate life choices and stay true to your course.
  • Keep the Lung energy full, clean, and quiet.
    • Do so by practicing breathing exercises to enhance Lung qi. There’s so many wonderful breathing exercises, feel free to research options that best fit you.
    • I personally find great benefit purely from breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 4 counts. Repeat as often as possible, but at least a couple times a day.

It’s always important to live with the season, but especially with it being 2020, I feel it’s even more important to live with the season!

Pick 1-2 points and focus on them for the next few days to a week. Once you’ve established those recommendations, add in another one. Continue until you’re feeling well and balanced! And don’t forget to always be looking for ways to add in a little extra joy into your life. Because friend, you deserve it!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman

*When practitioners of Chinese Medicine talk about organs, it does not necessarily mean the physical organ. Rather we are talking of the channel of the organ and the properties associated with the organ according to Chinese Medicine. 

Lifestyle Adjustments for the Changing Seasons

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Have you noticed the shift in seasons has begun? Even though Iowa still has some warm days, there is definitely a chill in the air! It’s important to note when the seasons change, as it subtly suggests we should also change and incorporate some modifications into our daily life.

The season of autumn belongs to the Lung*. According to the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, by Maoshing Ni, this is when “all things in nature reach their full maturity, heavenly energy cools, wind begins to stir, it’s the pivoting point when the yang phase turns into the yin phase.”

Essentially, this means it’s time to change up the way you do things a bit. Here are some helpful tips from the Yellow Emperor to naturally change with the season:

  • Go to bed with the sunset, get up with the sunrise – In theory, this sounds great, but we all know this may not be possible. Either way, it’s helpful to try to get a little more sleep.
  • Eat warm, cooked foods.
  • Stay warm. It’s tempting to want to get the last wear out of your favorite summer sandals, but be sure to layer up with scarves and sweaters to keep your qi strong. Not sure what to wear? Check out my friend Carly’s post for how to stay warm and stylish!
  • Take time to gather one’s spirit and energy.
  • Remain calm and peaceful, and try to avoid feelings of depression or grief. Sadness also belongs to the Lung.
  • Stay focused.
  • Keep the Lung energy full, clean and quiet – Do so by practicing breathing exercises to enhance Lung qi.

While it may be difficult to follow all of them, focus on a few you think you can do and try to integrate the change of season into your everyday life.

Happy Autumn! 

*When practitioners of Chinese Medicine talk of organs, it does not necessarily mean the physical organ. Rather we are talking of the channel of the organ and the properties associated with the organ according to Chinese Medicine.