It’s happening … we are approaching autumn. For those of us in Chicago (and in many other parts of the world) the weather will change and so must we. Chinese Medicine stresses the need to adapt our lifestyles and diets to the changing seasons for optimal health.
So, here are some easy, surefire tips for a healthy autumn.
1. Eat Warmer Foods and Seasonal Foods. Instead of summer’s raw salads which can cause gas and bloating, try to eat more stews, soups and steamed vegetables. This is beneficial for your digestion, warms you up on cold nights and supplements your qi.
Good food suggestions for autumn include spicy and pungent foods like onion, garlic, radish, and ginger. Apples and pears (especially Asian pears) benefit the respiratory system. Pumpkins, winter squash, and sweet potato warm your yang energy as the weather becomes cooler.
2. Let It Go. Whatever it is, let it go! Nature instructs us about the cycle of creation and letting go every year. Autumn marks the end of the growing season and is a time to turn inward, conserving energy. Trees lose their leaves in preparation for winter. How can we expect a healthy harvest next year if we don’t release the old and stagnant aspects of our lives? The most powerful lesson of fall is to release the clutter that unnecessarily complicates our lives in order to discover all that is meaningful and fresh.
3. Protect. As the weather changes, it’s easier for us to catch colds and flus. Certain areas of our bodies are more vulnerable when left exposed, so it is particularly important to protect the back of your neck and chest from the wind with a scarf or collar. Also, no bare feet, especially if you have hardwood floors. Walking around on cold floors chills the entire body.
Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. She completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky maintains a blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. “Adventures in Chinese Medicine” is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.