The cooler weather of fall is here, and patients with colds, allergies and sinus problems are seeking relief with acupuncture right now. If you are not properly protected clothing-wise (still wearing shorts/sandals?), or are worn down by continual stress, then the seasonal shift in temperatures and weather patterns may catch your immune system by surprise.
The lungs are associated with fall; any deficiencies with respect to lung function will be amplified during this season. In Chinese medicine, the lungs are the first level of protection for the body, as the lungs open into the nose and are associated with the skin, our barrier to the outside world. This is the time to strengthen the lungs to address sinus problems, excess mucous or dryness of mucous membranes, recurrence of colds, bronchial issues, or skin issues.
According to Chinese medical theory, fall is the time for turning inward and consolidating energy for the winter months. What does that mean for daily life practices? Discontinue eating raw vegetables and salads and drinking cold smoothies. for starters. These are foods that are beneficial in summer time; they are refreshing and help cool the body. But in the autumn months, taking in these foods will dampen the digestive fire and create feelings of cold. It's also important to counteract the dryness of wind and indoor heating by eating foods that promote and astringe body fluids. Foods with sour flavors (olives, pickles, leeks, vinegar, cheese, yogurt, citrus, apples) and moistening qualities (spinach, barley, mushrooms, nuts, eggs, dairy products, milk, honey) are emphasized now.