Summer to Autumn Taoist Medical Advice
Fall is a time of moving inward and storing up for winter. Read this insightful Taoist advice on how to take care of your body at this time of year.
Autumn is a part of nature’s cycle that follows the completeness of summer and transitions to drying up, brittleness, and death. This is an important part of the cycle prior to the resting of winter, and then the rebirth or sprouting of spring. Autumn is often known as harvest time or killing time. It provides the opportunity to harvest all the fruit and vegetables and take in the bounty.
This time of year you can eat a little more (good foods) and pack on “your fat” for the winter. You will see this same pattern in the animal kingdom. When eating additional foods, you may experience difficultly with digestion. In this case, eating a little fermented food items will support your digestion.
The weather begins to become drier, leading to dryness in the throat and lungs. This dryness also takes away the yin Qi.
To support your Qi through this season, you may add in the following foods: duck, daikon radish, apples, and pears. These are yin nourishing foods to offset the dryness. It is also advisable to eat a small amount of sour foods such as vinegar; this will help promote the liver Qi to benefit the lungs. As the season mirrors our bodies, this is a good time to practice Qigong to harvest and boost your energy.
This season’s Qi has a drying and withering, reflecting nature’s cycle of decline. What does this mean for our wellness? The yang Qi begins to move inward to heat up and protect underground. Our Yang Qi (Wei Qi-Defensive Qi, or Immune System) moves from the surface toward the internal. This is a reason for easily catching colds and the flu, and why we should not bother our yang Qi.
How do you not waste or bother your Yang Qi?
1. Shower or bathe less–no more than 3 times per week (especially not a sauna – excess sweat)
2. No excessive sweating during exercise
3. Go to bed earlier and get up later (with the sunrise)
4. Do not restrict eating to lose weight–store a little fat (with healthy food, not extra sweets)