OUR CHANGING WORLDS, INSIDE AND OUT- According to Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and other natural medical systems of the East, our bodies are actually in tune with the environment around us, and go through changes very similar to the changes that our environment goes through as the seasons change.
Just like our world goes through the seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, so too our bodies change during these times. Additionally, whatever the outside world is doing, it affects our bodies as well. Summer heat heats us up. Winter cold makes us cold, and so on.
Note that certain diseases and disorders are worse at certain times of the year, like Asthma and Heart Arrythmias in the Fall, and Colds and Flus in the Winter. This indicates that changes in our bodies during different times of year increase or decrease our susceptibility to certain problems.
In order to stay as healthy as possible, we must shift as the season shifts, using food and lifestyle choices to balance out what is going on inside of us and outside of us during that time of year.
THE FALL- Seasonal changes, according to Oriental thought, represent a shift between the Yang energies of the summer and the Yin energies of the winter. Yang energy is warm, Yin energy is cold. They interact in infinite ways to create our internal and external climate.
In the Fall, the Yang energy of the summer is winding down and the Yin energy of the winter is ramping up. As a result, the environment becomes increasingly cool, dry and windy. These are the main attributes we must fight against at this time of year in order to stay healthy.
In order to maintain our health during this season we need to …
1. Clothing- Begin wearing long sleeves and long pants. This combats the increasing coolness of the season and helps block the wind which both cools you even further and dries you out. Note that animals naturally start putting on a winter coat at this time of year. You need to as well.
2. Oil Massages- Start putting a light coat of warming oil into your skin after you shower or bathe. Massage the oil into your skin and leave it for the day. Do not put so much you feel greasy, just a small, thin layer. This will help block the drying affects of the wind, help keep you warm, and also absorb into the skin to help combat the dryness of this season. Sesame oil is perfect for this purpose.
3. Foods- Start getting away from raw foods, fruit juices, salads and cold foods like ice cream, and favor warm, cooked and nourishing foods, like soups, stews and warm beverages.
Opt for fall and winter vegetables now, like beets, carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, turnips and potatoes, which are seasonal for the Fall. Spaghetti squash and braised fennel could be included. Cooked root vegetables are excellent autumn and winter foods.
Cooked seasonal fruits are also good, like baked apples with cinnamon, or pears. Add some warming spices and vegetables to your food with leeks, onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and cumin.
One last thing – avoid dried foods, and add more healthy oils to your diet at this time of year to combat the dryness, like Olive Oil or Coconut Oil.
4. Supplements- As far as supplements go, warm herbs like ginger or ginseng are good, as well as healthy oils like Fish Oil, Cod Liver Oil and Flax Oil.
Remember, the overall goal is stay in balance and avoid illness by riding the season intelligently, in this case by combating the cold, dry, windy nature of this season with warming, moistening and wind-blocking lifestyle changes.
Dr Matt and Dr Robin
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This email is courtesy of Matthew Barnes, D.C. and Robin Barnes, D.C. Neither this nor any of our emails are intended to be medical advice and should not be taken as such. They are opinion and are for informational purposes only. None of the nutrients discussed here are meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.