Ways to Protect Your Mind, Body and Spirit This Fall
The cold winds of change are upon us and so is cold-and-flu season.
Have you ever noticed that when the seasons change, we start wishing we could change, too?
While springtime and summer inspire creativity, fun and reinvention, fall and winter guide us to look inward as the days get shorter and darker.
Before we look outward about how to stay healthy this season, let’s look inward and see what might be making us sick.
According to Chinese Medicine, the natural elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Water and Metal belong to a system existing in all things. These elements affect a wide array of natural phenomena ranging from how the solar system unfolds to the health and vitality of our internal organs. Metal is the element associated with autumn because it helps balance and protect our respiratory and immune systems as well as our large intestine and skin.
Some clear signs your Metal Element is out of balance is if you have a runny nose, chronic cough with lots of (green/yellow gross) phlegm, low immunity and low energy. Metal imbalances don’t just show up in your body, but also in how well you experience and release emotions. Feelings such as sadness, disappointment, vulnerability and unsociability are indicative of a Metal Element imbalance.
So what do we do? How do we re-balance our mind, body and spirit this fall?
Here are three powerful and simple tools for lightening up and staying as strong as steel (like metal) as the days get dark and cold:
1.) Take extra precautions to keep your chest and neck warm by wearing a scarf or always zipping up your jacket before heading outdoors. The acu-points on the neck are most susceptible to wind and cold. If your chest and neck get cold, you can expect the sniffles to begin so bundle up and zip it up.
2.) The moment you feel cold and flu symptoms coming on, like sniffles and/or an achy neck and shoulder, change your diet. Supercharge your immune system by eating pungent foods such as steamed or braised garlic, onions and turnips. Add cinnamon and ginger to your recipes including hot beverages (e.g., cinnamon in your coffee is delicious and a super immunity booster).
3.) Most people feel a shift in energy as we experience less and less daylight during the fall and winter months. This simple, three-minute Qigong Lung Cleansing Exercise <https://youtu.be/JDq8YziZVx0> alleviate feelings of lethargy and sadness. Qigong’s gentle motions and breathing patterns help clear and harmonize the lungs so you feel energized, healthy and calm no matter how dark and cold it is outside.
ABOUT CHRIS SHELTON :Whether working with superheroes as a clinical director for the Special Olympics’ “Strong Minds” program or chasing after his favorite herd of turtles (one wife, four kids, one grandbaby, three furballs), Chris attributes his joyful life to his love of people, learning, and the healing effects of Qigong. He is founder of Morning Crane Healing Arts Center in San Jose and Los Angeles.