The Autumn Equinox provides a tremendous outpouring of energy for your use or misuse. Your thoughts, feelings, words, choices and actions can create greater health and an abundance of all good things if you are consciously directing them toward what you DO want–right NOW.
Equinoxes represent balance and autumn is harvest time. What seeds have you planted in the spring? What were your dominant mental seeds? How healthy have your food choices been? You will most likely reap the results of your efforts of the past two seasons to fulfill your goals, vision and dreams. Does that scare you or excite you? Either way, it’s never too late for a fresh, new approach to taking control of your health and personal life. Autumn represents letting go. Are you ready to release all that’s been intensifying your challenges and keeping you stuck?
Eating and living in harmony with the seasons is one aspect of my Holistic WholeHealth approach to creating radiant health and energy; a healthy fit body and mind; emotional harmony and an abundant, joyful life you love. Many of the reductionist and one-size-fits-all methods of western medicine and many alternative models are inadequate in assisting you with complete recovery from physical and emotional health distress and personal crises.
There is a more accurate Holistic method for you to determine what is needed for healing your emotional, physical and lifestyle problems. My WholeHealth approach is based on centuries old traditional health wisdom founded on solid principles rather than popular trends that contradict each other and fade in time. I have several offerings that can benefit you and details are at the end of this article.
Autumn Health Challenges – Lungs, Immunity, Digestion and Skin
Each season brings the potential for specific physical and emotional health issues. If your health is weak, you are more likely to experience health challenges during the transition from summer to autumn. The well being of your body, mind and emotions in any season is dependent, to a large extent, on your food and lifestyle choices of the previous seasons.
According to the centuries old wisdom of traditional health philosophies, autumn impacts the lungs and large intestine. Colds, sinus problems, lung and immune ailments (including allergies and asthma), digestive problems, skin conditions, weakness and/or pain in the arms, thumbs and index fingers; weak abdominal muscles; and pain and/or weakness in the thumb and index fingers are some common imbalances related to lung and digestive health and prevalent during this season.
If there is disharmony in these organs, specific emotions and characteristics will be more pronounced. Perhaps during this time of year you’ve noticed that you become indecisive, lethargic, depressed, or unable to see positive solutions and move beyond adversity. Or you may engage in self-blame and not-good-enough syndrome; become unresponsive, indifferent, negative, ineffective, isolated, self-destructive, and overly self-protective.
These symptoms are caused by lung and large intestine imbalances, and originate from poor diet, excessive or insufficient activity, climate, and/or organ malfunction. Anxiety, depression, and other emotional disharmonies will be covered in great detail in my upcoming Creating Emotional Harmony Webinar. Subscribe to free e-newsletter, Whole Health Matters, for date and details.
Most dry conditions are exacerbated during this season and are related to the lungs—dry skin and throat, itchiness and most skin conditions, chapped lips, and excessive thirst. Even more common are conditions caused by an excess of mucus forming fluids. This creates problems in the lungs by inhibiting the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. When too much moisture or mucus collects in the lungs, these gases cannot pass freely.
Fruit and cow’s milk products, including cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, cause a lot of mucus in the respiratory system even if they are labeled low-fat. Excess mucus in the lung tissues makes them susceptible to inflammation and hypersensitive to the effects of irritants in the air. Mucus traps harmful pollutants allowing them to accumulate rather than be excreted. Phlegm in the lungs is often caused by weak digestion. Each person’s health plan should be individualized; however, some general guidelines are listed below.
Therapeutic Foods for Autumn Health
Pungent foods help clear mucus in the lungs and intestines. They include onions, garlic, turnip, broccoli, celery, ginger, cabbage, horseradish, radish, daikon, small amounts of hot peppers and chilies, seaweeds, and ground flaxseed. Use several of these every day.
Pungent cooking herbs include garlic, ginger, black pepper, basil, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill and bay leaf. The rich beta-carotene content of golden-orange and dark green vegetables helps protect these organs. They include carrot, winter squash, broccoli, parsley, kale, mustard greens, and watercress.
High fiber foods help to cleanse the colon and lungs and whole, unprocessed grains are the best source, including brown rice, barley, quinoa, oats, and millet. Eat 2 cups or more daily. Using bran regularly as your fiber source can irritate the colon wall and block the absorption of nutrients from other foods. Eating whole, unrefined grains, beans, and vegetables daily provides an ideal balance of fiber and other nutrients.
For dry conditions such as dry cough, dry skin, itchiness, excessive thirst, and sluggish bowels or constipation, emphasize these foods: seaweed, peaches, pears, apples (best to cook fruit in the autumn and winter), string beans, tofu, tempeh, brown rice syrup, black sesame seeds, ground flaxseed, organic butter or ghee, organic eggs, oysters, and clams.
Minimize bitter, spicy, and sour foods and eliminate dehydrating substances such as coffee, alcohol and cigarettes.
A 3-5 day cleansing diet of simple, easy to digest foods can help bring you back to balance. Eat only whole, unprocessed grains, steamed vegetables and Fall Renewal Soup. Start the day with warm lemon water and drink plenty of liquids including water and herbal teas. Chew well to alkalize the food, sit down and eat in a relaxed way, and avoid eating after 6 p.m.
Foods in the lotus family are beneficial for lung health and other conditions. Read about this little known food group and its uses.
There are many safe and effective herbs that can clear lung, digestive, skin, and all conditions without the negative side effects of pharmaceuticals. Some herbal remedies are described. There are others not listed since it’s best to consult with a professional herbalist to determine the best remedies for your constitution and condition. If you have chronic problems, you’ll save money, time, and trial and error with a consultation so that recommendations can be customized for your entire health.
Exercise and activities that promote higher oxygen levels in the blood will make you feel more energetic, alert and positive. Raising oxygen levels also allows the brain to function better and promotes a positive mental outlook. Try yoga, tai chi or qigong. Brisk walking, hiking, or riding a bike outdoors are helpful especially in autumn. These all improve lung health and help to eliminate some of the above symptoms.
You have far more control over your health and happiness than you realize. Adopting some of the suggestions in this article can help you take control by adapting to the changing seasons with harmony and well being. Your mental and emotional state will improve and I’ll give more tips on this in a future article and Webinar.
With all the uncertainty of our health care system, it’s more important than ever to be proactive and invest in your well being. It’s difficult to do it alone.This does not mean you stop seeing your physician or eliminating your medications. It means educating yourself and learning about your body and personal imbalances from a holistic perspective. If it makes sense to you, then begin to implement gradual changes. You can get to anywhere that you want to be. Small, consistent changes will get you there.
If you resonate with a Holistic approach, consider some professional guidance for the right nutrition and holistic health plan for you. You can greatly improve every aspect of your physical, mental and emotional health with a customized holistic approach. Schedule a Holistic Health and Nutrition session with Deborah Barr, 35-year Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor. You’ll be on your way to better health. Sessions can be done by phone, zoom, skype, or at Pittsburgh office.
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