Autumn is a poignant time of the year. It is a time of gathering and collecting, in preparation for a more austere time to come. We move from the external world we enjoyed in summer, to settle into our internal environment for fall and winter. It is a time for reflection. For some, autumn is a season of sadness, as we become acutely aware of the passage of time, another year coming to an end. But it is also a time of preparation, a time to store within ourselves the bounty of our life experience.
Psychologically, autumn invites the question to hold on or not to hold on? In this season of bountiful beauty, vibrant colors abound. As the temperatures cool, we are encouraged to “chill”, to relax, and to quiet the chaotic storms that often peak during this season. The season presents opportunities to let go of all that encumbers us. It reminds us of the impermanence of all living things. Of course, we too have a limited lease on life. Let the vibrations of this season remind you of letting go and letting whatever you no longer need to release. Unlike nature, human beings are conditioned by reflexive unconscious survival patterns, to hold on and cling. It is part of our DNA coding. Be gentle with yourself as you move through this season.
The element in Chinese medicine associated with autumn is metal. We experience metal in several aspects of our human experience. Metal can be cold and hard but it is also malleable. People with a metal constitution may be extremely sensitive to touch or emotions. Metal provides substance, structure and stability to our form. It acts like girders in a building providing strength but able to bend like a tall skyscraper. Metal is a sign of beauty. Since the beginning of time, we have draped our bodies in precious metals and jewels to signify beauty and power. Metal conducts electricity. It is integral to communication, supporting the network of connections between the mind, body, and spirit.
The organs associated with the metal element are Lung and Large Intestine. One of the primary emotions associated with Lung is grief. The Lung acts in harmony with the process of letting go, which is managed by the Large Intestine. When metal is out of balance we have difficulty letting go. This is why a good cry is so cathartic. Our Lung qi is released!
According to Chinese Medicine, the Lung is the first line of defense in immunity. We can see minor irritation of the Lung qi just by looking at the nose, the sense organ of the Lung. If the nose is red or runny this could indicate an imbalance in the metal element. Skin (also known as “the third lung”) and body hair are likewise governed by metal, and can be additional indicators of immune function by exhibiting dryness. The time of day when metal is most influential in our bodies and lives is between 3am-7am. Notice what is moving through you during this time of day. If this is a difficult time for you, you are working toward letting something go or letting something die. You are creating space for new beginnings. Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and energy medicine help support the Lung and improve your immunity during autumn. This is the best time of year to treat imbalances in the metal element. Welcome and notice the E-Motion that is moving through you as it offers opportunities to grow, change, feel, and heal.
With love & light~
Dr. Howard K. Weissman, Psy.D., B.C.E.T.S.