October 02, 2018
How Diet can Contribute to Mental-Emotional Problems in Chinese Medicine
We are now in the true depths of Autumn, with the chill crisp air abound. Autumn is a time when the weather turns cooler and cooler and the temperature can vary greatly between day and night, as we have seen more recently in Melbourne, with its 30 degree days followed by 17 degree days! This is a time when the seasons change from yang, the vibrancy of summer, to yin, when life is more subdued and everything in nature contracts and moves its essence inward and downward. We are creatures of nature so it is best for us to follow nature, therefore, for optimal health, it is best for us if we live according to the seasons and the environment around us.
Regulating daily life
Get up early and go to bed early
Getting up early promotes the free circulation of the Lung energy and going to bed early means we get more sleep and more time to store energy in preparation for Winter
Exercising early in the morning
In gentle autumnal winds with fresh air is a great start to the day as it will activate every organ of your body and help you be more energetic
Layer your clothing
It is easy with the large fluctuations in temperature to get too hot or too cold easily. If we get too hot and sweat a lot, we are losing Yin and body fluids at a time when we need to be preserving them. If we get too cold, there is more likelihood of developing a common cold.
Autumn is a season marked by its dryness and when it injures us, it consumes Yin and body fluids easily, resulting in dryness within ourselves. People may get dry skin, dry hair, dry and cracked lips, dry throat, constipation. If you have a hot type of dryness affecting your affecting your upper respiratory system, you may have a cough with not much phlegm, dry throat and nose, thirst, headache and fever. If you have a cold type of dryness affecting your upper respiratory system, you may have a cough with thin phlegm, dry throat and lips, a blocked nose, sensitivity to cold, headache and a slight fever. To help prevent this or help you recover from it, try to:
Drink more liquid
Drink liquids such as boiled water and tea to rehydrate
Eat more fresh fresh vegetables and fruits
Especially the ones moistening the lung and promoting the production of body fluids (see below). Eating raw fruits and vegetables clears heat and promotes production of body fluid whilst eating them steamed promotes Yin.
Eat more congee
This will strengthen the digestive system as well as nourish and moisten you.
Take moistening herbs
Mai Men Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis), Tian Men Dong (Raidx Asparagi), Sha Shen (Radix Glehniae) are known as Yin tonics which focus on the Lungs.
Moistening foods for Autumn
Using a little salt in cooking also moistens dryness. Dairy and other animal products are more appropriate for those whose dryness is accompanied by weakness, frailty or other signs of deficiency. If you’re unsure what your constition is, please consult with a Chinese Medicine practitioner.
Use bitter, aromatic and/or warming foods, which includes many spices and herbs, with caution as these dry the body.
If you’re struggling with your health Autumn in Melbourne, give us a call and we’ll help balance you out with some acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine so you can embrace all the crisp freshness that is Autumn!