Nourishing the Transition of the Seasons

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)

Summer Healing for Winter Diseases Advice from Master Liu He

The article below demonstrates how it is important to both reinforce the yang and nourish the yin during the warm months of summer so that we have more resilience and vigor in the winter. Acupuncture and herbal remedies are great adjuncts to the daily home practical advice noted below.

Acupuncture is all about balancing yin and yang
Source: Ling Gui International Healing Qigong School

Summer has arrived! As we look at nature, during this time of the year, the surface of the earth is warm however when you step into a tunnel or underground it is very cold. Our bodies mirror this same structure. Our yang Qi moves toward the outside and we feel hot, however our internal organs are very cool. We need to reinforce the yang and nourish the yin this season, to lay the groundwork for a healthy Winter. Otherwise, this Winter you may catch colds easily, experience chronic illness symptoms increasing, or more dampness such as diarrhea, etc. Here are suggestions:

1. Eat/drink warm or room temperature foods/liquids.
2. Eat more soups and easily digestible foods.
3. Eat or drink 2-3 slices of ginger after breakfast.
4. Room or car temperature needs to be no more than 10 degrees different than outside temperature.
5. Practice Qigong – especially Tapping Qigong or Immune Boost (both available on YouTube).