“Therefore the change of Yin & Yang through the four seasons is the root of life, growth and reproduction, aging and destruction. By respecting this natural law it is possible to be free from illness. The sages have followed this, the foolish people have not.”
– The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing, 475-221BCE), the first major Chinese medicine book about seasonal shifts and how they affect human beings.
Seasonal Change: Autumn
Seasonal change happens every year – eight times, in fact. As the seasons change, so does the world around us, including our natural, animal-level behaviour. This concept is reflected throughout the Chinese medicine framework, so when it comes to working out how to resolve issues that happen as a result, your Chinese medicine Doc really knows their stuff. It’s all we do.
Interplay of Yin & Yang
In ancient times, one of the major classics of Chinese culture,
the Yi Jing (or I Ching – The Book of Changes) described the changes in terms of the interplay of Yin and Yang, and how environmental states reflected each other or were drawn together with the changing seasons and conditions.
In TCM Autumn is synonymous with the environmental state of dryness. After Summer and before the rain and frost, the Earth dries out and leaves begin to change colour and fall. Within the TCM framework, Yin has dried out from exposure to Yang. The sun begins to lessen and the days get shorter so that things begin to dry less and then finally, as Yin takes over from Yang, the cold rain begins.
Dryness in TCM terms has traditionally been seen to cause many health problems ranging from dry eyes, to cough, to skin problems. Dietary changes are aimed at nourishing fluids with specific types of foods, and eliminating things that have a “drying” quality. Herbal medicine involves herbs that are cooler in nature, and which contain mucilage to provide additional dryness-specific effects. Of course each person is different and a practitioner takes your constitutional type into consideration, as well as lifestyle factors that may affect your health.
Listen to your body.
What is it telling you it needs? More water? Healthier food? Warmer clothes? Rest? Obviously, we can see the plants and the weather change around us, and we dress for warmth or cool, or hotter or cooler temperatures because of the immediate effect it has on how we feel. We could learn a lot from paying attention to our surroundings but ultimately, our bodies speak for themselves.
Chinese medicine practitioners do more than just diagnose diseases and prescribe herbs & acupuncture to treat them. We consider all aspects of the wondrous individual that is YOU, mind, body & soul.
If you feel like you’ve lost touch with yourself in the fray, book in for an appointment to have a balance to set you right for change of season.