As many of you know, I have been doing a lot of acupuncture in the office. Along with studying acupuncture, I have also been studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the philosophies that have developed over the past 4,000 years. Many those philosophies are things you already innately feel. As I start sharing more about TCM I will hopefully be able to put into words what you already know.
Here are some great TCM tips on helping you transition from late Summer into Fall.
Tip #1: Embrace the Warmth
Keep your body warm, both externally and internally. Wear clothes that cover you completely. I know the style right now is showing the midriffs but cover that up. We will cover more reasons, associated with fertility, for keeping this area warm in a few weeks. Put on the sweatshirt and sweatpants; pull out the wools socks your Mother-in-Law knitted for you from the back of your drawer; do not sit directly under the air conditioning. During those sunny Fall days, go outside and enjoy the warm sun on your face.
Eat warm and nourishing foods. Make soup a staple in your house all year round. If you are feeling cold, make a hot cup of tea to help warm you from the inside out. Avoid drinking water with ice and transition away from the iced coffees. Also, try to focus on warm and nourishing foods. In TCM, foods are categorized as cold and hot. A salad is considered a cold food while red meat is considered warm food. Focus more on warm foods.
Tip #2: Keep the Qi Flowing
The transition between seasons is a time of disharmony and that is reflected in our bodies. A lot of times, this is when our Qi gets stuck. A very light and superficial example of this disharmony is trying to figure out what to wear each day during the transitions. We must put more thought into how we will dress for the ever-changing weather during this time versus once we get settled into each season. This may not feel like much, but it turns our focus away from other things, requires more mental thought and prep, and if we dress poorly, it can leave us feeling too cold or too hot which can then affect our productivity, energy, and overall satisfaction with the day.
Keep the Qi from entering this space of chaos with acupuncture. A maintenance appointment can remove any Qi blockages and promote internal harmony. Try Qigong, Tai Chi, or Yoga as well. The flowing movements of these three practices help remove the stuck Qi. It does not have to be a lot of work. Find an app or YouTube video and do it for 10 minutes a day.
Tip #3: Find Happiness
Each season has an emotion associated with it. Fall’s emotion is grief. As the days get shorter and the leaves turn color and fall, we are more likely to think about the things we are losing. This can start a downward spiral into Seasonal Depression. Put in extra time to focus on what makes you happy during this season and recognize when you are feeling sad. Do those first few cloudy, windy days make you want to hibernate? Do you start to lose energy? What do you do during the sunny and crisp Fall days that make you happy and how can you do that during the dreary ones? Identify how you feel each day. Create a list to keep in plain sight so when the blues hit, you can pick something to do.