Fall is a favorite season for many people. The weather starts getting a little cooler, things are beginning to slow down and preparations for the holidays are in full swing. For many others, fall is not so festive. Many people get sick during the fall months, allergies can flare up for some, and many don’t like the steady decrease in hours of sunlight, sometimes leading to seasonal depression. Here are some tips on how to get through the season without incident.
1. Wear a scarf.
The large intestine channel runs up the arms, across the shoulders, up the neck, over the face and ends next to the nose. As many people now know, the health of our gastrointestinal tract plays a big part in our immunity, so keeping the large intestine channel warm and preventing exposure from the elements will help keep you healthy. Cold pathogens can enter the body through the pores or nasal cavity, but wrapping the neck and shoulders with a scarf can help ward them off. Scarves don’t have to be thick or heavy, but they should cover the neck.
2. Eat according to the season
Eating foods readily available during the autumn months and foods that boost the energy of the lung and large intestine meridians is a great way to keep the organs associated with fall - the lung and large intestine - in balance. In the fall, you should eat fewer cold and raw foods like salads and instead eat more warm and cooked foods. Foods to enjoy during the fall months include apples, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pears, yams, bananas, cabbage, carrots, cranberries, ginger, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and wild rice. Hot herbal teas are another good addition to your daily diet, especially those containing ginger and lemon, which act as natural antibiotics.
3. Stay hydrated
The large intestine and the lungs need to stay moist to function properly, so drinking lots of water is important during the fall. Without proper hydration, the skin, which is controlled by the lung meridian, can become dry and cracked, allowing pathogens to easily enter the body. The large intestine meridian also needs proper hydration in order to expel any pathogens that do get into the system.
4. Let it go (literally and metaphorically)
Fall is the season of letting go. Just as the trees let go of brightly colored leaves, you too should let go of whatever is bogging you down. This can include physical items like clothing, as well as items that are clogging up your mental closet, like unresolved emotions. Letting go of attachments can make way for growth and regeneration to occur in the spring.
5. Get acupuncture!
As the fall months approach, it is a good idea to increase your regular acupuncture treatments. There are many acupuncture points that help boost immunity, fight off colds, help with releasing emotions and improve digestion. Why not utilize the natural power we have to offer? By doing so, you might just survive the fall without ever getting sick and be better prepared for the upcoming months and seasons that follow.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.