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Care for your Lungs this Autumn

"Fall is the season of harvest, a time to pull inward and gather together on all levels, a time to store up fuel, food, and warm clothing, a time to study and plan for the approaching stillness of winter. Everything in nature contracts and its essence inwards and downwards. Leaves and fruit fall, seeds dry, the sap of trees goes into the roots."

Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford, p.306

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Autumn is connected to the lungs and the lung system is much more than just the physical lungs, it is also the nose, the sinuses and the skin. The lungs are connected to the metal element, the autumn and to the emotion of grief. Autumn is a time to contract, to draw into ourselves and our cosy homes after the outward and energetic season of summer. The paired system of the lung is the colon, which is responsible for eliminating what we no longer need. These two systems together take care of our immune system, as they act as boundaries between the interior of our bodies and the exterior world. The lungs connect to the world outside our bodies by taking in oxygen, and the colon by releasing waste.

To take care of the lungs practice breathing well, take time to experience your own breathing, and soften and extend your breath. Try to spend time in places with clean, fresh air - walk in nature or by the sea and think about really breathing in the goodness. Keep warm in autumn, wear a scarf and keep out of drafts and damp places. Your lungs will appreciate the warmth and the dryness. You can brush your skin, and moisturise which will also nourish the lungs. Sing or hum, open your chest with stretches, relax your shoulders and don't slouch - all of these will encourage energy to move freely in the lungs.

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