Season: Fall (Inward)
Yin Organ: Lungs
Yang Organ: Large Intestine
Sense organ: Nose
Stage: Harvest, Collect
Emotion: Sadness, Grief
Yin-Yang: Lesser Yin Energy
Domestic Animal: Dog
Fall. The air becomes a bit crisper, you can see and smell the changing of the leaves… everything slows down, the days shorten, and harvest is just around the corner.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers practical advice for adjusting to seasonal changes. One of the basic concepts in TCM is the 5 Element Theory of correspondences. Each element has an associated season, emotion, taste, organ…
The Season of Autumn is associated with the element Metal. The emotional aspect is Grief. The predominant taste is Spicy. The associated and most effected organ in Fall are the Lung and Large Intestine and the most common external element is Dryness.
The Seasons, Stress, and Colds and Flu
Seasonal change, like any change, can cause stress. The main cause of stress in TCM is Wind. Wind is said to be the “agent of 10,000 diseases,” (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine). Wind is understood to be not just the movement of air, but also, any sudden change. TCM has known for thousands of years that stress can cause sickness, and modern research has certainly proved this.
To combat stress, stay in a routine. To avoid colds and flu, keep your immune system up, cover your neck whenever outdoors and stay out of drafts. Wash your hands frequently, eat a balanced diet, get good quality sleep and exercise three times a week.
The Lung and Large Intestine
In Chinese Medicine, the lungs are an organ system that opens directly to the exterior. It’s function is to regulate and control the breath through inhalation and exhalation. Because of its opening through the nose, the lungs are easily susceptible to cold, heat, dryness, dampness, and most of all, heat and wind. This can effect the biggest organ of the body; the skin. The lung is closely related to the large intestine. The large intestine controls the transformation of digestive wastes from liquid to solid state and transports the solids onwards and outwards. It plays a major role in the balance and purity of bodily fluids and assists the lungs in controlling the skin’s pores and perspiration. It depends on the lungs for movement via the expansion and contraction of the diaphragm, which works like a pump to give impetus to peristalsis by regulating abdominal pressure.
The solar plexus Chakra is located below the diaphragm separating the lungs and the large intestine. This energy center is located at greatest nerve ganglia system in our bodies. This center allows for the communication between the upper and lower parts of the body and is connected to almost all the organs. The solar plexus is often where we consider our “gut” feeling to come from. This is also where the connection between the three lower Chakra interchange with the four higher Chakra energy centers.
The Metal Element
The element, Metal is associated with the Fall season and with dryness.
Metal represents our mental activity such as intellect and the ability to reason, memory, thoughts, knowledge and comprehension. Metal governs organization, order, communication, the mind, setting limits, and protecting boundaries. It also rules new beginnings, friendship, clarity, and positive expression. The Metal personality is very good at making decisions and carrying them through.
Emotionally, this element is associated sadness, as metal, like the season itself, represents a withdrawal from life. Reverence is sadness without the loss. This is what makes people cry when they are moved by an experience. A lack of reverence in your life is equivalent to the lack of nourishment from everyday things. The appreciation of each moment in the present, is the virtue of this element in balance.
The Metal element is associated with feng shui and Chinese medicine. The character of metal is “sharp, retracting, polised and finishing.” People with the metal element in their personalities can be well-organized, have strong boundaries, are methodical, principle-oriented, analytical, and are very orderly. Emotionally, metal personalities can appear cold, distant or uninterested. They tend to favor intellect and reason over emotion. Metal out of balance, tends towards worries about the future.
The Air signs possess the virtue of knowledge. This does not mean they are more intelligent than anyone else but are generally well rounded and informed. They are good communicators. Most have a good grasp of the language and generally know a little something about everything. They have good personalities and are easy to get to know. Air represents our mental activity such as intellect and the ability to reason, memory, thoughts, knowledge and comprehension. It also rules new beginnings, friendship, clarity, and positive expression. The Air personality is very good at making decisions and carrying them through.