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Maintain health this autumn and beyond with traditional Chinese medicine

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(NaturalNews) Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is rooted in observing the natural course of seasons and their relation to physical and mental well-being. The current season of autumn is a time of increasing introspection after the expansive nature of summer. We are slowing down, wrapping up projects and letting go of anything that we may be holding on to. It is also the season of grief and sorrow.

Two organs that we should pay close attention to during this time are the lungs and large intestine. In TCM, the lungs are linked with communication and clear thinking, a healthy self-image and openness to new ideas, as well as the capacity to feel relaxed and joyful. When the lungs are imbalanced, we find ourselves experiencing excessive grief, difficulty in dealing with change and a near constant sense of sadness. If you have a hard time letting go of experiences, objects or people -- or living in the past -- you may have a deficiency of the lungs.

The lungs take in the new. Think about breathing in crisp, fall air which fills us with plenty of oxygen and vitality. In contrast, the large intestine is about letting go. The last phase of digestion, the large intestine extracts what is useful for the body and releases everything else. When we look at this process from a TCM perspective, autumn is the perfect time to clear out everything that is not physically or mentally healthy -- whether relationships, possessions or habits.

How to cultivate equilibrium during autumn

Considered a dry season by TCM, autumn can lead to a variety of complaints -- like sore throats, breathing problems, coughs, headaches, insomnia, frequent colds, chapped lips and constipation. While drinking plenty of fluids is important, it's not enough. Moisturizing from the inside out with specific foods is required. Recommendations include cabbage, pumpkin, turnips, sesame, tofu, seaweed, yogurt, wood ear mushroom, pear, persimmon, pomegranate and honey.

Warm and nourishing foods are also valuable. Focus on sourdough bread, millet, rice, sweet potato, adzuki beans, carrots, leeks, fennel and taro. Apples, lemon, apricots, plums and grapefruit are beneficial as well.

Herbs like basil, turmeric, coriander, bay leaves, nutmeg, rosemary, ginger and dill are helpful too.

To support digestion, it's important to avoid raw foods during the autumn and winter months. Instead, enjoy soups and stews, along with other cooked edibles. Drinking warm water is another worthwhile practice.

For additional fortification during the fall, Chinese Medicine Living recommends the following:

Deep breathing. Increase lung capacity, reduce stress and improve clarity with this simple exercise. Breathe in through the nose for a count of five. Hold for another five, then exhale completely for five counts. Repeat three times. Aim for several sessions per day.

Say goodbye to negativity. Autumn is the ideal time to weed out negative thought patterns, behaviors, relationships and habits. Concentrating on the positive aspects in life will give energy -- as well as health -- a nice boost.

Stay stylish, warm and robust. Since the autumn season is linked with the element of wind -- which is believed to be the cause of over 100 diseases -- wearing a scarf can help minimize health problems. According to TCM, illness and "wind" are most likely to penetrate the body through the neck, so protecting this area is a great preventive move.

Clear out the clutter. Autumn is the perfect time to organize and let go of the old, while ushering in the new. Donating clothing and household goods, deleting old files on your computer and decluttering cupboards are all quintessential fall activities.







About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

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