Transitioning from Late Summer into Fall

Transitioning from Late Summer into Fall

How Traditional Asian Medicine Can Support Your Body

As the warm, vibrant days of late summer start to give way to the chillier, slower-paced rhythm of fall, our bodies also begin to experience a shift. The transition from one season to another is not just a change of the calendar; it’s a significant switch that influences our bodies and overall health.

Traditional East Asian Medicine, encompassing acupuncture and herbal medicine, can provide exceptional support during this seasonal transition. In Asian philosophy, each season is associated with certain organs and elements.

Late summer correlates with the ‘Earth’ element and the spleen and stomach organs. As we transition into fall, we move towards the ‘Metal’ element and the lungs and large intestine.

During the late summer, when the Earth element is dominant, we may experience symptoms related to the spleen and stomach, such as fatigue, sluggish digestion, bloating, or an overly heavy feeling in the body.

We might also notice a tendency towards overthinking or excessive worry.

Transitioning into Fall: Metal Element

As we transition into fall, associated with the Metal element, we might observe respiratory issues like coughs, shortness of breath, or nasal congestion, as the lungs are the dominant organ. Additionally, a feeling of melancholy or nostalgia, or difficulty letting go, can indicate an imbalance in the large intestine’s emotional aspect.

As per Traditional Asian Medicine, our dietary habits should correspondingly shift in sync with the changing seasons to maintain optimal health.

In the later part of summer, when the Earth element predominates, it is beneficial to consume foods that support the spleen and stomach such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, and carrots. These root vegetables are grounding and nourishing, helping to alleviate symptoms related to these organs.

As we transition into fall, marked by the Metal element, we should focus on foods that support the lungs and large intestine. Pears, apples, and radishes, which are rich in fiber, can help in maintaining respiratory health and promote bowel regularity.

By aligning our diet with these seasonal shifts, we can better support our body’s health and wellbeing during these transitions.

In addition to adjusting our diet, choosing the right teas can also help support our bodies during this seasonal change. During the latter part of summer, as the Earth element dominates, teas such as chamomile or fennel can be beneficial due to their soothing effects on the stomach and spleen.

As we transition into the fall, the Metal element becomes prominent, and teas that support lung and large intestine health, such as peppermint and licorice root, become the better choices. Peppermint tea can help clear sinus and lung congestion, while licorice root tea can soothe the throat and support digestion. Remember, the key to maintaining balance and health is to align our lifestyle and diet with the rhythm of the seasons.

Physical activity is another essential aspect of maintaining balance during these seasonal transitions.

With the shift from late summer into fall, incorporating certain movement routines or stretches can be highly beneficial. During the Earth element phase of late summer, try focusing on exercises that engage the core, as it is directly related to the spleen and stomach organs. Gentle Pilates or yoga movements that involve twisting can be an excellent choice to strengthen and stabilize the core while promoting healthy digestion.

As we transition into the Metal element phase of fall, incorporate breathing exercises and upper body stretches into your daily routine to support lung health. This can include practices like Qi Gong, Tai Chi, or yoga poses such as the cat-camel stretch, which encourage deep breathing and can help to open up the chest, facilitating better respiratory function.

Remember, it’s not about high-intensity workouts but rather about gentle, consistent movements that align with the seasonal energy.

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Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
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