On September 22nd, we said goodbye to summer and entered into the autumn equinox. Fall is often thought of as a transition period between the warm, carefree days of summer and the chilly, indoor months of winter that are rife with work and responsibilities. During this few-month transition period, trees shed their leaves and get ready for new growth and harvest.
It’s important to follow suit and clear away our own personal clutter and negativity, so we can make room for new beginnings and a clearer vision. We can do this by both clearing out emotional stressors and mental blocks that cause us negative feelings, as well as physically cleaning the spaces around us allowing them to be more organized and conducive to our new selves.
In Chinese medicine, the element associated with the season of fall is metal. Metal manifests itself as inspiration, introspection, and a connection to a higher, stronger self. Metal also is reflective, showing us our core issues and calling for us to deal with them during what we can view as an autumnal rebirth.
The yin and yang organs connected to the metal element and fall are the large intestine and the lung. Both of these organs have important jobs to do to keep the body in working order. They take in nutrients, absorb and process what is needed, and release the rest. The large intestine and lungs set an example for how we must discard what we don’t need in our life, create a fresh chapter, and get ourselves ready for new growth opportunities.
When our metal energy is out of balance, it can manifest as a sickly intestine that does not eliminate waste properly and holds onto a build-up of toxic matter. It can also come across as a dysfunctional lung, unable to breath in fresh, healing air and nutrients. A metal element imbalance can manifest as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, abdominal pain, bronchitis, allergies, asthma or a shortness of breath. It can also show itself in emotional symptoms such as constant negativity, stubbornness, anxiety, and depression. Acupuncturists can target the specific lung and intestinal energy pathways to treat the metal element energy and help stabilize any imbalances.
Balancing Your Metal Energy at Home
To make the most of this autumn season and to keep your metal energy at the right level, here are some things you can do on your own:
Organize your living space as well as your work space. Get rid of things you no longer have any use for or happiness towards by either throwing them away or donating.
Make To-Do Lists
Write down small things you need to get done throughout the day, as well as longer-term goals. Cross things out as you do them to create a visual inspiration for success, one small task at a time.
Make amends with individuals with whom you may have some sort of negative energy or unresolved history. With those you cannot or do not wish to connect with, write your grievances down on paper and then tear them up or burn them. This act of physically eliminating something will help you mentally and emotionally let go as well.
Practice Your Breathing
Take a few minutes in your day to meditate. Sit down and do nothing, and as you settle into your meditation focus on taking deep inhales and long, slow exhales. This will improve your mood and lift your energy while strengthening your lungs.
Watch your food and drink intake. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and try to be mindful that the food you are eating is full of healthy, energy-boosting nutrients to keep your body running clean and helping you to eliminate toxins.