How to Stay Balanced as the Seasons Change
Many of my acupuncture clients are feeling the transition from late summer to fall right now.
Some common complaints I see with this change of season are:
- Feelings of sadness
- Body ache
- Sore throat
- Nasal Congestion
- Upset Stomach
I recommend coming in for an acupuncture seasonal "tune up" to help your body, mind and spirit adapt to this energetic change in nature.
Here are 6 other things you can do to stay balanced in this transition:
1. Get more sleep
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, your body will naturally require more deep rest. Accept that this change is part of nature and don't feel guilty about going to bed earlier or sleeping a little longer.
2. Eat more cooked foods and less raw food
While salads and fresh juices felt energizing and cleansing during the warm months, they are now too cold and dispersing for most people, and can lead to upset stomachs, constipation, loose stools, anxiety, sleeplessness and fatigue. Start roasting veggies, and making soups and stews instead. If you are hooked on your raw juice, but are still experiencing symptoms, consider drinking it a bit less often.
3. Start eating more meat
Animal protein is highly recommended during the colder months in Chinese medicine. Lean cuts of beef, lamb, or buffalo build the blood and help your system to stay warm enough and amps up your immune system for the colder season. Choose organic, grass fed meat, and continue to eat plenty of veggies and fiber as well.
4. Wear a scarf
In Chinese Medicine, many colds and flus are caused by a "wind-cold invasion". Wind -cold is said to enter through the back of the neck, at the occiput. Especially on days that shift between warm and chilly, it's helpful to keep your neck covered with a cozy fabric, so the cold doesn't sneak its way in to your body.
5. Adapt your exercise routine
During the summer, you may have ridden your bike for miles, then swum laps and gone to a rigorous yoga class, fueled mostly by salads with nuts and seeds. As the winter approaches, you may feel better doing long deep stretching that is grounding and quiet on some days, and then going to bed early. It's still important to do cardio and sweat, but don't force your body to keep up with the pace it naturally enjoyed during the high energy summer months.
6. Consider letting go
In Chinese Medicine, the fall is a time to let go of whatever is no longer serving us. This can be a vision to which we are attached, but that hasn't manifested, a relationship that brings suffering, or belief that keeps us stuck in dissatisfaction.
Consider what you need to let go of, or what has been naturally removed from your life and write about it in your journal. The more mindful you can be about loss and letting go, the more aligned you will be with the energy of the season, and the less you will be affected by its changes.
Licensed Five-Element Acupuncturist, Kate Sciolino, LAc, helps her clients have extra spring in their steps. They report relief from symptoms, increased energy, focus, relaxation, and less use of the snooze button.