Autumn 2011

Our own health and energy is influenced by many factors.  For example what we inherit from our parents, where we live, what we eat and our environment. Some things we are more in control of than others, some things we can change and some things we cannot.  Our inherent place in the universe is a given. For now we are here, on this planet getting on with our lives taking the ups and downs that come our way. In Chinese medicine there is a recognition and deep understanding of our interconnectedness with all things in our universe.  We cannot alter the fact that we wax and wane with the seasons as do all sentient beings, but here in the west we are hell bent on pretending that some how we are above it all, the cycle of life.

Take a moment to consider this time of year, coming into autumn.  How are you in Autumn, is it a favorite month or one that leaves you feeling down and a little depressed.  Do you get ill in autumn, coughs, colds, flu, fatigue?  Our health is affected by the change in movement of qi at this time.  In the summer our energy is upward and growing before it reaches a plateau of late summer when we can reap our harvest and enjoy the fruits of our labour.  If you are a vegetable gardener, you will have been picking the veg and digging up your potatoes.  Autumn is the time of return.  All things go back into the earth, the sap ceases to rise and the nights draw in.  This has a profound affect on how we feel.  

In autumn our energy moves in accordance to the season, it becomes more downward and inward in direction. You may find that you need more sleep, are more inclined to stay indoors and are generally more reflective.  It is a very poignant time of year, the colours can be inspirational.  How do you maintain good health at this time?  Don't fight the natural order of things, eat well and rest well, try to get out and enjoy the change in colours of the leaves.  Observe what is happening to the world around you.  It may be windy as the season changes, in Chinese medicine the wind can leave us vulnerable to acute disease or ill health, for example more vulnerable to cold, flu and aches and pains. If you are a sports person pay particular attention to warming up and cooling down before exercise, stretches and breathing techniques will be good.

Autumn is a good time to meditate and reflect.  You could learn to meditate, take up Qigong or Tai Qi.  Join an art class, reading group just simply take your time.  This is not the party season, that time was the summer, so embrace a more reflective you.  Don't try to push your way through the season, slow up a bit and enjoy the smells and the colour changes around you.

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