Late Summer: Wind Equals Change.

21 August 2009 0 comments

Today marks one more day farther along in Late Summer (read last two posts for more on Late Summer). Yes, there is dampness in the air...and yet it is feeling like Autumn. The winds are stirring up in the Atlantic, in the Pacific, in the Gulf. When there is wind, there is always change.

In my world, patients are showing up in the office, more and more in the past two weeks, with Lung issues. Of course, the Lungs are the organs most affected by Autumn. Patients are complaining of dry cough, wet cough, sadness and grief (both Lung issues), dry mouth and throat, constipation and difficulty letting go.

From my perspective, the energy around us beginning to settle.

The season is definitely changing.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine we can always look at the seasons for signposts for what is about to happen in our bodies. Season after season, year after year, the same patterns hold true. We need to look at what is around us: the color of the trees, the quality of the sky, the winds, the insects...all these hold clues.

Even on the Chinese calendar, at the beginning of what is usually Chinese New Year, around February 4th, they have a day called "the waking of insects". It is absolutely true that every year on this date that the weather is a little warmer and we see our first little bugs. It is interesting, also, that this almost corresponds with "Groundhog Day"...a day that we look for the stirrings if Spring.

The stirrings of a season always begin six weeks before the season is "named".

Yesterday I saw a caterpillar. I remembered that when you see the wooly ones -- and if they are quite wooly -- it can be predictive of a harsh winter ahead. So....I looked at the caterpillar again. Alas, no hair. Yet, I was reminded that things are changing...constantly...and that this is another example of the clues we are given.

So here in Atlanta we had a first tropical storm this week...Claudette...and Bill is making his slow and powerful strides across the Caribbean. Change. Change.

In Late Summer we take care of our Spleen/Pancreas, in Summer we care for our Heart, in Spring we guard our Liver, in Winter we watch our Kidneys -- and in Autumn we protect our Lungs.

This year it is particularly important to protect your Lungs. There are all kinds of news stories about the H1N1 flu...and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a weakness in the Lungs makes you more vulnerable to pathogens.

It is said that the Lungs enjoy moisture (which is different from Dampness) and need to be kept from dryness to be strong. Many herbs accomplish this: Lily bulb, Ophiopogonis, Dendrobium...and foods such as Lotus root, Lily, Asian Pears, Pears, Rice and Celery can accomplish this as well.

An interesting quality to the Lotus root, for example, is its ability to gather mucous and phlegm which are trapped in the Lungs, to expel it and to nourish the Lungs...simultaneously.

If you have partaken a little too much of summer fruits...melons in particular...and have just been experiencing symptoms of Dampness (head fogginess, loose stools, heavy arms and legs), then as the season changes over to fall, the Dampness will move into the lungs.

There are so many details I have given you...things to sort out....but just be assured that feelings of sadness, of settledness, of letting go that are beginning to penetrate...these feelings are seasonal, appropriate, indicative of change. I will post more about the Autumn and the Lungs soon.

For now, embrace the change.



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