by Matt Cates
Fall is the sunset of the year where everything starts moving inward and represents the element of Metal. Metal is the element associated with the corresponding organs of the lungs and large intestines, and is the element of contracting. Water to ice, earth becomes metal or gems, air condenses into a storm, are all examples of this cycle.
It is a good time of year to once again look at taking care of ourselves as this is our weakest time of year. It’s no wonder fall is associated with getting sick, the lungs and large intestines are the organs governed by metal. Lungs are obviously related to colds, bronchitis, asthma and such, and the intestines as a whole are the foundations of your immune system. When balanced, the emotional essence of lungs/large intestines promotes compassion, feeling energized, being organized, and clear thinking. When out of balance depression, self pity, anti-social behavior, and lack of will tend to take hold.
Well, the easiest way is by watching what we eat. Since we are attempting to clean out and boost our immune system, you are generally going to want to avoid mucus producing foods such as dairy, and wheat if you’re already sick. Second is by supporting your intestines by eating things with good bacteria, fermented foods for example. Third, eat foods that get things moving: onions, garlic, ginger, spicy peppers, daikon radish, and rice. Think about the foods that are pungent (spicy), move gas, or clear out mucus as being beneficial for this time of year.
Lastly, activating the meridian points Lung 1 and Large Intestine 4 may help if you find yourself out of balance. Lung 1, located in the indentation near the shoulder joint and level with the intercostal space below the 1st rib, correlates to all lung issues, skin problems, emotional tension, sore throat, and upper torso pain. Large Intestine 4, located in the muscly area between the thumb and index finger and 1/2 way between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, correlates to allergies, sinus problems, headaches, itching and especially colds, and many believe it is good to stimulate every day.