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The best way to stay healthy according to Chinese Medicine is learning about the nature of each season and living in harmony with its spirit.

Maria Hogan

Autumn is the Time…

…when the warmth of the sun begins to lessen and makes way for the cooler seasons of fall and winter, allowing us to slow down and move away from fast-paced summer activities, strengthen our respiratory and digestive systems and support our immune system.

In Chinese Medicine, Fall is associated with the organ systems of the lungs and large intestine. The lungs are in charge of respiration and elimination. They are responsible for receiving energy in the form of breath and acting as the first line of defense against external pathogens. The lungs also regulate the water channels in the body, bringing fluids to where needed. The large intestine is the Yang organ paired with the Yin of the lung, and its job is to help us absorb nutrients and eliminate unwanted waste.

The chief “evil” in Fall is dryness. The lungs need to stay moist, not damp, and cool but not cold. During illness, the lungs often become hot, which in turn dries them out. Protecting the lungs from external pathogenic dryness is the first line of defense against catching colds. When the nasal mucosa is dry, it is much easier for the Rhinoviruses that cause colds to attach and get into the bloodstream.

Here are some easy tips to help protect your lungs through the fall and prepare for winter.
  • Get out your scarves! Be extra careful to keep your neck covered as Chinese Medicine views cold invasion as most likely to happen at your neck. Ever notice how your neck becomes achy at the beginning of a cold?
  • Stock up on pears! The most common kitchen medicine in China in the Fall are pears. Pears are cooling and moistening. Pears have a viscous quality that helps moisten the lungs.
  • Warm up your food! Take advantage of all the wonderful fall vegetables and make a big batch of roasted veggies. These are easier to digest, more warming for your body, and will prepare you for the winter weather.
  • Keep hydrated! The body needs extra fluids to counteract the dry environment.
  • Get Acupuncture! Winter is often the time when most people get sick. Seeing your Acupuncturist, the season before can boost your immune system and get you ready for winter.

The best way to stay healthy according to Chinese Medicine is learning about the nature of each season and living in harmony with its spirit. If we are living in harmony with the world around us, we see that nature is slowing down and contracting, preparing to rest, so it is good for us to do the same.

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About the Author

Maria Hogan

Maria Hogan, is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist. She graduated with a Masters Degree in acupuncture from the New York College of Health Professions, where she currently is a Professor and Supervisor to students in the Massage Clinic.

Maria is passionate about sharing the healing benefits of Chinese Medicine. Believing the body should be treated as a whole, she uses many modalities to treat various conditions.

She is available for both Acupuncture and Massage services in Incentives Organic Spa and Salon

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