Living in Harmony with the Seasons: Autumn
The classical Chinese medicine text, the Huang Di Neijing, tells us that if we want to achieve health and longevity, we must live in harmony with the seasons, adjusting our lives to the rhythms of year.
As autumn comes to New York City, we turn our minds to the season of gathering-in, the preparation for winter's rest. We harvest the fruits of our Summer labor. We see what will sustain us and let go of what we do not need. Chinese medicine theory draws a parallel between the natural world and the body, the macrocosm and the microcosm.
We also see autumn within ourselves. Just like the leaves that fall from the trees are dry, we are also susceptible to dryness in autumn. We must take steps to prevent our bodies from becoming dehydrated. Try a simple dish of warm poached organic pears in the evening or some extra raw honey in your tea. Another delicious dish for autumn is kanten, a pudding-like dessert made from kudzu root starch. There is a handy kanten recipe on the back of most packages of kudzu starch. Freshly ground sesame seeds are another nice way to bring some moisture to your diet. Sesame seeds are also rich in lignans, which have myriad health benefits.
We derive a correspondence between the seasons and the internal organs from the classical texts. Autumn corresponds to the lung and large intestine organs. The organs have emotions in this system of medicine. Two important aspects of these organ systems are placing value and letting go. Take some time to cherish that which enriches your life and let go of what detracts, such as an old piece of furniture, clothing you don’t wear any longer, and even behaviors. This will bring you through winter with only the essentials so the burst of growth and new directions in spring can unfold without impediment.
Dylan Stein Acupuncture is a midtown Manhattan acupuncture clinic, offering both acupuncture and herbal medicine. Find out more at DylanSteinAcupuncture.com or by calling 212-863-9223.