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Dr. Jane Catania, DACM

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Chinese Medicine- The Five Elements: Seasons: Fall

Chinese Medicine- The Five Elements: Seasons

Chinese medicine teaches us to live in harmony with the seasons. In Chinese medicine theory, there are five seasons- winter, spring, summer, late summer, and fall. Each season helps us to change our habits so that we may create more balance between the external environment and our bodies. The foods and lifestyles that follow the Chinese Medicine aid in keeping one healthy throughout the year and provides the tools to keep the immune systems and organs strong to ward off disease.
Fall Season
Fall is the season of the harvest, when we acquire what we planted in the spring. We eat the fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts with gratitude and can preserve them for the coming cold winter months. The colors change brilliantly all around us, and the sky is at its bluest against the autumn leaves. The air is cooler and drier, and there seems to be more clarity of vision, both externally and spiritually.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fall is the season of reflecting on our core issues, the most refined part of ourselves. Our core issues are those dealing with existential reality, with questions such as, “Who am I?” “What is my lifework?” “What remains constant in a forever changing world?” Autumn reminds us that flexibility and adaptability are crucial for staying healthy and balanced during the winter months ahead.
The Lungs and Large Intestine
When you think about the Lungs and the Large Intestine, they seem to have little in common with each other, as one is involved with respiration and the other with digestion, but Chinese Medicine views things energetically opposed to physically.
The Lungs are the organs of respiration. They are responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to every organ of the body and eliminating the waste matter from the cells through our expiration. The word used for breathing in is “inspiration,” which is the main function of the Lung, both physically and spiritually. To be properly “inspired,” we must create space by getting the old stale air out.
Physically we are more prone to bronchial infections and sinusitis. Our allergies are amplified and issues like asthma and heaviness of the chest can appear.
The Large Intestine is the organ of elimination and is responsible for helping the body eliminate waste. Only when the body is cleansed of toxic matter can it receive the more refined energy brought in by its partner, the Lung.
The Large Intestine is responsible for making distinctions between harmless and harmful elements, and it discriminates between the nutrients the body needs and those it must eliminate. Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, flatulence, and abdominal pain, all reflect problems with the function of the Large Intestine.
What to Eat:
How to Keep Healthy and Joyful During the Fall
Dr. Jane Catania, DACM
Board Certified & Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist Trained in China & U.S.
44 Sycamore Avenue, Suite 3B
Little Silver, NJ 07739