Autumn-The Season of the Lung



Autumn is the season of the harvest, gathering the seeds and wisdom we’ve learned this year for continued growth in the spring. It’s also a time for eliminating what is unnecessary, and storing up only what is needed for winter. As spring was an expansive time, fall is a contractive, simplifying time.

Autumn is the season of the Lung organ. In Chinese medicine, weakness of the Lung causes difficulty with respiratory disorders-asthma, frequent colds, lowered immunity in general, sinus headaches, skin ailments ( the skin is regarded as the third lung) and dryness- constipation. Also, unresolved sadness and grief, can deplete the lung energy.

The pungent quality of some foods and spices help to open and expand the lung qi/energy to clear grief and respiratory problems. Pungent foods are: garlic, ginger, horseradish, daikon radish, and cabbage. They can be used uncooked if you run cold in nature, but if you run warm they are best eaten after being cooked. Since Autumn is a dry season, foods that help moisten and nourish the lungs are : cooked pears, baked apples ( with cinnamon) and squash, along with persimmons, almonds, barley, milley and soy.

A position to open the lungs: lie on your back, place a towel rolled into a column, under your back,  under the length of your spine. Put a pillow under your knees, and your arms stretched out at your sides.  Take slow deep breaths .

Balanced Lung qi/energy is reflected in the ability to have boundaries, knowing what to let in and what to keep out, when to say yes, when to say no, and finally when to hold on and when to let go.

Acupuncture and specific Chinese herbal formulas are helpful at this seasonal change for optimal balance.