Autumn, the time of harvest, contemplation, inward retraction and a gathering together on all levels. A time to store up on fuel, food, warmth, study and plan for the approaching stillness of winter. Autumn is the time of imminent withdrawal, as the leaves fall from the trees colouring our streets with that beautiful autumn hue, we are reminded of the beauty of all of the life cycle that our seasons in this state, represent. Life, death, renewal, stillness and its cycle which begins again.
Autumn is aligned with the element of Metal and the organ systems of Lung and Large intestine- intake and outtake- and of letting go. Always an easier task to say than to do, but the simple act of consciously breathing deeply into and out of the lungs connects us to our bodies and our ability to release, taking in new air, oxygen, qi and releasing it with our out breath.
Intake of nutrition and elimination of waste through the Large Intestine is also a natural motion for the body and as such represents another action of letting go.
Conditions of the Lung and Large intestine can be prevalent in the Autumn months as can the need to resolve grief and sadness which in chinese medicine are associated with these organ systems. The strengthening of these systems give rise to a freer approach in processing some of lives deep attachments without emotional repression enabling us to move with awareness.
Sour flavoured foods like sourdough bread, sauerkraut, olives, pickles, leeks, aduki beans. Salt plums, rosehip tea, vinegar, cheese, yoghurt, lemons, limes, grapefruit stimulate the activity in the body, to focus mentally and begin the process of contraction in preparation for the winter months.
Autumn can also be a drying time for the body, dairy and animals products can be of use for those suffering dry conditions, pears also have a moistening action on the lungs and help to support the body through Autumn.