Autumn is the season of letting go. The Earth lets go, such as the leaves from the trees; the harvests of fruits, vegetables, and grains; creatures store food for the Winter…
Autumn is a time of reflection and the beginning of going inward. The days are still bright, but the air is crisp and dry. During Autumn, trees shed their leaves, their sap descends, and they continue the down-and-in motion of their energy that began in Late Summer. Trees pull themselves inward in preparation for the cold Winter. We, too, must also prepare ourselves.
Although it is a time to shed the dross, Autumn is also a time to reflect upon the value of life and the gifts that it brings. The lung and large intestine organs embody the Autumn energy in their functions. The lung breathes in the cool, refreshing, clear air, taking in the pure, positive Chi and letting go of impurities. The large intestine assimilates the nutrients from food and eliminates waste.
This can often be a time when people develop colds or allergies, so caring for the lungs by practicing Yoga, Tai Chi, and other forms of deep relaxation or breathing are helpful during Autumn. Eating some spicy, pungent food, in moderation, may help clear the body of mucus and help stimulate the lungs.
The skin is considered “the third lung” in Chinese Medicine, so lung and skin problems are often closely related. Asthma, eczema, skin rashes, acne, oily skin, etc, are often related to the lungs and the large intestines. Improper elimination of toxins can lead to these problems. The skin is also an organ of waste elimination. Skin conditions often occur as symptoms of poor elimination or forced elimination by cleanses and fasts.
Autumn can be a good season for letting go of tensions, both physical and emotional, through contemplation. We move more out of the Summer energy of activity and more towards the Winter energy of quiet rest, receptivity…wisdom.