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Building fall leaves_2By Tara Gregory, LAc

Tara works at Dr. Samantha’s clinic in Portland, Evergreen Natural Health Center. She is available for appointments Tues and Fri 11-7 and every other Saturday.

In Chinese Medicine fall represents the transition season from the height of yang or active energy of summer into the passive or yin energy of winter and it is associated with the Metal element and the Lung organ network. Just as the lungs and the breath help to establish a rhythm within our bodies, fall is the natural season to rediscover a health rhythm in your life. The Metal element of fall symbolizes clarity and diamond like strength. Harness the natural energy of fall to both clarify what you value most and to find the strength to set boundaries and say no to what no longer supports a fulfilling life. If you fell away from your commitment to your health routines during summer, fall is a great time to recommit to eating healthy, exercising regularly, and addressing your health concerns.

Here are some tips from a Chinese Medicine perspective to help you reactivate your wellness routine and to stay health this fall.

  1. Prioritize what is most valuable to you. In the fall we become acutely aware that there are never enough hours in the day. Are there tasks that are occupying your time that are preventing you from eating well, exercising regularly and spending quality time with loved ones?
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  3. Eat with the season to stop colds in their tracks. Fall is the time to transition towards eating warming and cooked food. The warm yang nature of summer helps the body digest raw food and salads. But, as the weather turns cooler, eating raw and cold food puts a strain on the digestive system. This in turn takes energy away from the body’s ability to defend itself from illness. Eat warm foods (steamed vegetables, soups, etc.) Build up your reserve of energy to keep you health this winter by incorporating baked root vegetables and winter squashes into your diet.
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  5. The minute you feel a cold coming on, do this:  Pungent flavors open up the pores, causing diaphoresis to help you sweat out a cold. Try adding garlic, ginger, fresh green onions and chives to a bowl of hot soup at the very hint of a cold to stop it in its tracks.
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  7. Keep Warm and Wear A Scarf. In Chinese Medicine the wind is seen as the root of many diseases and especially with colds characterized by sneezing, runny noses and chills. There is an acupuncture point located at the base of the scull about an inch in either direction from the spine. This point is named Wind Pool and keeping this point protected and covered by a scarf will help ward off a cold.
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  9. Boost Your Immune System with Acupuncture. Fall is a great time to get back into your acupuncture routine, especially if you suffer from colds, pneumonia, asthma, depression, fatigue, arthritis, or any condition that worsen in the winter month. Keep healthy with Acupuncture as preventative medicine. Acupuncture can directly boost your immune system and tonify your Lungs to make you less susceptible to illnesses in the coming months.

Hope to see you soon!

-Tara

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