As summer draws to a close we start to move away from the relaxed and carefree attitudes of the warmer and longer days, and move into more serious and introspective energies of autumn. This is the season of the Lung.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the season of the Lung is all about organisation, setting limits and protecting boundaries. It’s element is metal (air); clean, pure and purposeful. It is a great time to have a clear out, get organised and tidy up, creating space. It is important to be letting go of any strong attachments you have to people, objects and experiences: attachment can hinder opportunities to learn and for growth.
Breathe in, Breathe out
The Lung is all about breathing in the new, and letting go of the old or the waste. It is no surprise then to find that the Lung (yin) is paired with the Large Intestine (yang). Yin is fluid and yang is flow. We must have fluid in order to flow. If the fluid becomes depleted, or stagnated, or in excess, then this will consequently effect the flow. Traditional Chinese Medicine understands that life is all about balance: if the body and mind are out of balance then this is where dis-ease can occur.
The emotion of the Lung is sadness (grief). If we spend a lot of time re-living the past in our minds, or having strong attachments, this can deplete our Lung energy and create deficiency. Of course it is only natural and healthy to experience sadness and loss, but it must be resolved and not prolonged. It must be experienced and learned from, not perpetually endured. Grief cleanses us of what is not needed in our lives. Chronic deficiencies in Lung energy lead to depletion and consequently to depression and other issues.
Things we can do
The Lung is the only yin organ with direct contact to the exterior, and therefore we must take care of this delicate organ by protecting our wind gates and wrapping up warm with collars and scarves as the colder weather prevails.
The climate of Lung season is dryness. We can eat warm and foods that are cooked for longer; nourishing and moisturising, supporting the body and the immune system.
If we live in balance with nature, Autumn is about contracting and slowing down, looking inwards, getting ready to rest (for the winter).
Spend time deep breathing and visualising letting go of everything that no longer serves you.
These are just some simple things we can pay attention to during the season of the Lung. The element of metal gives us our sense of self worth, our own self-value. We must look inside ourselves for that.
Next up: winter – season of the Kidneys.
Jackie Marsden is a Reflexologist, Acupuncturist and Foot Reading Practitioner, based at Elder Cottage Clinic, Warton, Preston.
Image courtesy of Graphics Mouse at FreeDigitalPhotos.net