Chinese Medicine & Ayurveda: this is how you get through autumn healthier


At this time of year there is a gradual slowdown and a turn inward. The days get shorter and darker, trees begin to lose their leaves, and plants draw their energy indoors in preparation for winter. The wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda can provide support during the fall as they recognize that all beings (including us humans!) are affected by seasonal changes. After the height of summer activity, you now have a chance to lose your metaphorical leaves and turn inward too.

Autumn is a time of simplicity

Fall is a time of focus, coming together and simplicity. It can also cause seasonal imbalances. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda teach that when you work with the seasons by making deliberate changes, you will be rewarded with deeper health and well-being. How do you put that into practice? In this article you can read five tips.

  1. Work with your breath

The fall season is related to the lungs. To support the lungs, it is good to take a few minutes every day to consciously increase your breathing capacity. Find a comfortable position and watch your breathing. Once you’ve connected with the natural rhythm of your breath, slowly begin to lengthen the exhale. Practice 10 to 20 breaths.

  1. Get your bowels moving

The colon is also important at this time of year, so ensuring proper bowel movement is key. Constipation can lead to a variety of health problems, including skin problems, mucus build-up, allergies and mood problems, especially in the fall. Make sure you eat enough fiber and drink enough water. A fantastic breakfast this season is warm stewed apples with prunes. This supports healthy digestion.

  1. Practice self massage

Cold, dry, rough and erratic properties will also increase at this time of year. These properties lead to a distracted feeling, dry skin, dry hair, insomnia and anxiety. To counteract this tendency, you can practice self-massage by applying warm natural sesame oil or sweet almond oil to your body. This can help ground, nourish and protect your entire system. It is also believed to be good for lymph flow, which then nourishes the skin, supports the immune system and helps the body eliminate waste.

When applying the oil, move your hands towards the center and use circular motions at the joints. You can do this before bathing, as hot water helps the oil absorb into the skin. When you’re done massaging, take a shower and only use soap when needed. When you’re done, pat yourself dry with a towel. Use a towel that you don’t mind getting a little greasy. If you find this a bit messy and a waste of time, just use the oil after showering or before going to bed.autumn

  1. Eat food for the season

Fall is a time to collect and store. Ayurvedic teachings suggest cutting back on raw and cold foods and eating more of heavier hot foods and healthy oils. Choose natural foods that are moisturizing and have a sweet, salty or sour taste. Think, for example, of products such as sauerkraut, olives, pickles, rosehip tea, vinegar and yogurt. Also add aromatic and warming herbs and spices. Think cooked cereals for breakfast, soups, stews and root vegetables with butter or olive oil for lunch and dinner.

  1. Consider a nourishing cleanse

At other times of the year, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic teachings focus on fasting and cleansing the body – but fall calls for something different. Cleaning in the fall usually needs heavier, richer food.

For example, take a week for yourself and block everything. This so that you can enjoy the simple things and also have a good rest. During this time, eat a mono diet of kitchari (basmati rice cooked with yellow mung dal). This is considered a way to deeply strengthen your digestive system, remove toxins and prepare for the colder months.

Remember that fall is a time of transition. Try to set your goals to slow down some things, or let go of what you no longer need. A seasonal routine can help you adapt to nature’s changing rhythms and help you enjoy what the season has to offer.



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