Autumn is the season related to the metal element in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
What does this mean?
The five elements in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) relate to different seasons and in the human body they have many associations relating to mental and physical aspects. When we enter the time of year that relates to each element it means this energy is most active in these systems of the body. This can mean that its a good time to resolve issues but it can also mean that we are more susceptible to to different things.
Autumn is the season of the metal element which also relates to the lung meridian and as we all know this is the time of year where colds and flu start to increase.
In western medicine we see common links between those who suffer from asthma can also suffer from eczema and in Chinese medicine the skin is also related to the metal element so at this time of year as the weather gets colder it is very common that you see more people with Asthma flare ups and those suffering with increased problems like eczema and generally dryer skin as the colds sets in.
Our Lung energy can be vulnerable at this time of year. This can link to not only skin respiratory issues as I have mentioned but also the start of seasonal affected disorder (SAD) where the lack of day light as the days get shorter effect mood and energy levels.
What can you do?
Steam inhalations are great for clearing your air ways and can give some great relief to blocked noses as well as the anti viral effects of essential oils.
Please take care here as the essential oils evaporate in the steam and come into direct contact with your face you need to ensure you don’t get any in your eyes. if you are thinking of using this with your children you need to get advice for example eucalyptus and peppermint shouldn’t be used on children under 6 years!
You don’t need to use lots of oil 3-5 drops is often sufficient for an inhalation. My tip is to put sturdy heat proof bowl on a firm surface pour in about a pint of hot water with care! Then add your drops of oils cover the bowl with towel then then lift the edge of the towel closest to you, hold your head over the bowl about a foot away and have to towel covering the lower half of your face only, this protects your eyes from the evaporating oils.
My favorite inhalation mix: Eucalyptus 3 drops 2 drops lemon
Using essential oils is not only relaxing but they have anti-viral effects so can give us a boost when we feel we are coming down with colds.
Using an egg cup of fragrance free bubble bath or shower base add 3 drops tea tea / 5 drops of frankincense / 5 drops Lavender oils mix well before poring into a running bath.
If you get dry skin at this time of year add the oils to a base oils like fractioned coconut oil instead of the bubble bath.
Home made herbal teas:
This can be a simple as chopping up a couple of inches of fresh ginger root
and putting in 1 litre of water bringing to boil and simmering for 15 minutes and strain this can be kept in the fridge and heated when needed.
Or for a bit more warming spice add a cinnamon stick then when ready squeeze a 1/4 lemon in your cup and add a teaspoon of honey. (I like to use Manuka honey for its added antibacterial-fighting properties)
Self help acupressure point:
The large Intestine meridian is paired with Lung meridian in the metal element and this point the 4th on the meridian is excellent for issues like facial pain, headaches, constipation and expelling pathogens so when you feel yourself coming down with a cold press this point several times a day. *Note not to be used in pregnancy.
The old adage of prevention is better than cure is a wise one, even if we can’t prevent all effects our environment has on us we can support ourselves and lesson their impact.
Receiving treatments that benefit and balance the organ systems and boost energy levels Five Element Reflexology and Shiatsu where they use points that help fight off external pathogens.
Using essential oils to fight off infections and balance mood in aromatherapy treatments like Aromatherapy and Aromareflex.