Health Tips for Body, Home, and Heart, this Fall

  The lungs are front and center this season. Fall      allergies are at their height, flu season is  looming,  and everyone is thinking about  building  their  immune system and respiratory  health. But  as with  all things Chinese medicine,  strengthening the  physical lungs is just the starting point of health this season.  The lungs’ corresponding element is metal, and its spirit is sadness. This season, tune up your surroundings and your emotional life to stay healthy in the months ahead. Here’s how…

 Healthy body: The lungs are vital to immunity.  They filter toxins and provide clean nutrients to our  cells. Below are simple steps to optimizing lung  function and immunity.

  1.  1.  Get your sleep: Sleep at least eight hours a night but nine is better. Go to bed early to avoid the fall chill and  wake up early to make use of the early morning sun light.  Sleep is the great restorer and no remedy,  supplement, or  treatment can replace it.
  2. Exercise outside: Utilize the last few warm(ish) days by getting outside first thing in the morning and getting your heart rate up. This is the time to synthesize precious vitamin D for the long winter ahead. 
  3. Supplements to boost upper respiratory health: Elderberry syrup, honey, vitamin B-6,C,D, & E all help optimize lung function. Essential oils like eucalyptus can clear the airways and oil of oregano combats viral infections
  4. Boost digestion: Eat simple, warming foods. Food that promote lung health are fall fruits like apples and pears, roasted winter squash, and bone broth.

Healthy Home:  The Metal element thrives in an orderly environment. Bolster your metal element by cultivating your home.

1.  Clear out cobwebs: Your windows have been open all summer to allow in fresh air. Dust, heavy metal particles, and pollen have also made their way inside. Now is the time to dust and clean all your window sills, window treatments, and   vents. This will ensure cleaner air once our windows close for the winter. Very important as well is to use a long thin brush to thoroughly dust radiators.

2. Tie up loose ends: You are about to be spending a lot more time indoors. Make your home a haven – purge your closets, clear your table and counter space, get rid of old magazines and paper piles. If your home is clean and spacious, you will be able to breathe easily and feel at ease.

3. Plant a wish for spring: If you have a terrace, window box, or are lucky enough to have a garden, plant some bulbs or wildflower seeds now. This will give you something to look forward to. How psyched will you be when that daffodil pokes through the snow?!?!?!

Healthy Spirit: The spirit of the lungs is sadness and the nostalgia of autumn can easily give way to winter blues. We can avoid this by carefully nurturing our spirit.

1. Intellectual Stimulation: Autumn is for reaping the harvest. In intellectual terms, this is the perfect season to initiate a creative project, forge deeper into your research, or start a new hobby.

2. Quiet Contemplation: For all the chatter about how social media has us irreparably distracted, it has never been easier to begin a meditation practice, the App Store is now bursting with mindful meditation apps. Download one and turn your formerly hellish morning commute into a private moment of inner clam.

3. Filter your friendships: The outward energy of Spring and Summer makes it easy to meet new people and forge casual connections. Fall is the season to carefully choose which relationships to cultivate. Surround yourself with people who respect, inspire, and support you. They will warm your heart in the cold months to come. This does not mean that you need an army of “yes” people, far from it. We all need genuine and honest people in our lives. People who embrace the messiness of our inner world and encourage us to be authentic.

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