Welcome to Autumn
By Gemma David
In Chinese Medicine, every season corresponds to an element which integrates the natural rhythms/phases of nature with human activity. Wood with spring, fire with summer, earth with solstices and equinoxes, metal with autumn and water with winter. As we move into each season it is a good time to asses our health in relation to the natural rhythms of nature.
This week in the UK we have suddenly moved into autumn. According to 5 element theory the main correspondences with this season are metal, lung, nose, grief, crying and the colour white.
With this in mind, autumn is a good time to sit down, to take stock and prioritise what’s important in our life and what’s not. It’s a time to release anything we don’t need (like the trees losing their leaves) and any negative emotions that cling on. A time to feel grief for anything that has passed but also to remember that following grief is resolve. It is also a time to protect the lungs from colds and flu’s…and to wear white!
Helpful tips for Autumn
1.) Wear a scarf. Every acupuncturist everywhere will be telling their patients to keep the chest and neck covered. Do not let the cold in!
2.) Reassess your goals and plans. Are you on track? Do you have a development plan to help you keep focused? If you need some help in this area I’ve discovered a brilliant website called Actualized which could help. It’s hard talking but I like that!
3.) Press your Lung 7 point. Pulse this point a few times a day to help keep your lungs strong.
4.) Drink lots of water. I say this ALL THE TIME but its particularly important now that this season can be especially dry.
5.) Eat warm. Think about switching to soups and stews instead of salad and sandwiches. Keep warm on the inside as well as outside. Plus, your digestive system will thank you for this.
Try making this super autumnal curry to strengthen your lungs and protect you from an invasion of cold:
Onion and Cauliflower Curry
1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
1 stalk of celery cut into chunks
2 medium onions, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 thumbnail of freshly chopped ginger
1/2 green chilli, diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup water
Steam the cauliflower and celery for 8 – 10 mins until soft
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and soften the onion until clear
Add garlic, ginger, and chilli and cook for 1 minute
Add the spices and fry for another minute
Add the tomatoes and water and cook for 2 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft
Add the celery and cauliflower stirring them through the mixture thoroughly
Use more water if necessary and cook for 2 minutes.
Recipe taken from ‘Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life’ by Gail Reichstein