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The Wellspring Clinic
1 Clanricarde Gardens
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 1PE
01892 676214
Harmonising Change, Acupuncture for the Autumn

"The three months of autumn are called plentiful and balancing. The Qi of Heaven becomes pressing, the Qi of Earth is resplendent". (Neijing Suwen)

So autumn has come, an expected surprise, expected because we know it comes each year, a surprise because it has come a little too soon; we could always do with another week or two of summer. Each season has its special beauty, generated by what has gone before. The yang fullness of summer, slowly gives way to the inward yin that is autumn. Autumn a time of abundance, of gathering in, of preparing for the stillness of winter.

According to one of the classic texts of Chinese medicine: "those who know the way of keeping good health in ancient times always kept their behaviour in daily life in accordance with nature". Now, at the changing of the season, is a traditional time to give some thought to your health in the coming months. It is time to match your energy to the coming season by harmonising your life style with autumn

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.C.M), autumn is ruled by the metal element, which is characterised by expansion and contraction. The lung and the large intestine are attributed to the influence of the metal element and their nature is also expansion and contraction. These qualities are reflected by two of autumn's familiar characteristics, the gathering in of the ripe harvest and the letting go of the now spent leaves of spring and summer. Likewise, autumn is the time for letting go some of the useless clutter in our lives, both physical and emotional, and for reordering our habits and behaviour to meet the coming winter.

One of the easiest ways to do this is through diet. Eat fresh, eat local, eat seasonal. Go to your local farmers market; start to change from the raw colder foods of summer to the more warming, comforting foods that have been gathered in the harvest.

And just because it is cooling down don't forget to keep well hydrated. Autumn can be quite a dry season, drink more herbal and green teas, and when you drink water, drink it at room temperature, not chilled.

Make sure you get enough sleep, go to bed a little earlier, and if you can, get up a little later. You can't follow the sun, but you can try to reflect it. Sleep is an important time for the body to regenerate, de-stressing through sleep helps maintain a healthy immune system. On the subject of stress, if you have not meditated before, now is a good time to learn, and if you have meditated before it is time to pick up your practice after the disruption of the summer holiday.

To balance the stillness of meditation, remember to exercise regularly, it keeps the lungs strong and helps maintain our mood. Autumn and winter is the time of colds, coughs and flu, so keeping our lungs, the first line of defence healthy, is essential.

Finally, or maybe firstly, make an appointment to see the acupuncturist, to get more detailed advice on diet, exercise and meditation and get some treatment to set you up for the coming season, to harmonise with autumn.         

James Donaldson is the WellSpring acupuncturist, to book an appointment call us on: 01892 676214

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