Keeping Well in Autumn with TCM

I have relied on Five Element Theory to inform this blog post so just to give you a quick overview, Five Element Theory is a framework used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to help classify all natural phenomena. It is used as a foundation to many practices, such as tai chi, feng shui and acupuncture amongst others. You can read more about the theory here (recommended, it makes for very interesting reading!)

Autumn and how it can inspire us 

According to the Five Element Theory, the energy of Autumn is represented by the element of metal. But, before we look at what the Metal Element represents, lets look at what we can learn from Autumn.

  • Leaves falling – letting go of what doesn’t serve us anymore
  • Less visible growth – less focus on outwardly directed energy (yang) 
  • Leaves falling back to earth – energy inward (yin) to support future growth 

The Metal Element

Metal = Autumn in TCM, so lets look at what Metal represents within each of us, among other things:

  • Self worth (‘precious” metals) and recognising our innate self worth separate from external status symbols
  • Realising what is most important (‘precious’) to us.
  • Within the body, Metal represents two organs which we can focus on in a figurative and literal sense. Firstly,  the large intestine where there is the idea of excretion or letting go of what we don’t need. 
  • It also represents the lungs. We can associate this with inspiration (in physiology, ‘inspiration’ means inhalation!).
  • The lungs and the metal element are also tied to the emotion of grief in TCM.

How you feel when out of balance

If we have an imbalance in our Metal element then we might experience:

  • Being unable to see our own innate self worth and so pursuing external status symbols.
  • We might be unable to express grief or unable to let go and experience longing.
  • We might experience skin issues (interesting because we know that skin issues can be linked to digestive & respiratory health, which mirrors the organs of the Metal element in TCM).
  • We might have constipation or slow digestion.

How to Achieve Balance This Autumn

Let go

Clear out clutter in your home, work and anywhere you spend time. Make sure you stay hydrated, this aids healthy elimination on a physical level. 

Take stock of what is important to you

Create clear boundaries, think about what you won’t compromise on anymore, what is essential for your health and wellbeing? How can you make sure you have space for this? 

Eat in harmony with nature

Plenty of root vegetables and warm foods – think soups, stews and roasts rather than juices, smoothies and chilled salads. 

Reflexology or Dien Chan Zone

If it feels like ‘Metal” aspects are out of balance for you, then Autumn is the perfect time to receive a treatment that promotes balance. You will be most receptive to treatment in the corresponding season.  

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