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Staying Healthy In the Season of the Metal Element

Woman in scarf with thumbs up
Why wear one scarf when 10 will do?

Alas, I missed my window to talk about the Earth Element. The other four of the five elements get a whole season full of their energy, that is to say several months, whereas the Earth element is dominant in a tiny window between summer and fall, a window where I was romping around the north woods with my husband, so I’ll adjust the contents of this post accordingly.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my post on the Metal Element, you can find it here. It will help orient you to some other aspects of our current seasonal energy. All five elements have their associated organs, and metal shares its relationship with the lungs. In Chinese medicine, the lungs are said to be the ‘container of Qi’. They hold this precious energy and send it where it needs to go. Within the body, there are actually several different types of Qi with different functions, and part of the Lung Qi’s function is to protect us from the baddies outside: think flus, colds, allergens, and the like. We can help support our Lung Qi and enhance our immunity by following a few simple steps below.

  • Protect your neck- that’s right, just like me in that ridiculous photo. Chinese medicine views seasonal illnesses as exterior pathogens that attack the body through the neck. Basically every acupuncturist on the planet has a vast complement of scarves at their disposal that we tout out for the colder months.

  • Fresh ginger tea- Ginger is warming and enters the lung, spleen, and stomach meridians. It helps power all the reactions that make our protective Qi which keeps us healthy. Grab a bit of the root and cut off 4-6 ¼” slices (scrub the outside if you chose not to peel it). Place in boiling water for five minutes, strain and enjoy.

  • Qigong Patterns- While all of our dynamic patterns in Cosmos Qigong help enhance your immune system when practiced over time, Separating Water has a particular affinity for the lungs and is a great pattern to focus on during this season of change and introspection. Not familiar with this pattern? Sign up here to be notified when registration for Qigong for Health and Vitality opens up.

The beauty of Five Element theory is that it shows us what our body needs depending on the energy of the season. When we attend to those needs, we move into the next season feeling healthy and balanced. As we complete the whole cycle one year after the next, not only do we do so feeling our best, but we also gain a deeper sense of appreciation for each season’s energy and how to live in harmony within it.

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