“We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. so, when we say we have lost our connection to Nature, we’ve lost connection to ourselves” – Andy Goldsworthy
Our Health and its Relationship to Nature
One of the most important tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that human beings are subject to all of the changes and influences of nature and the universe. TCM is of the view that the existence and development of a human being must be based on a harmonious relationship with the laws of nature.
This Holistic view reflects a deep connection between people and nature, individuals and society, and our body and mind.
When we live in accordance to this principle we have a greater tendency towards optimal health, wellness and joy.
There are natural rhythms in nature that affect us, like day and night, new moon and full moon, and the seasons.
They are all important to our lives.
Internally, we also have cycles known as biological clocks. These clocks are governed by the rising and setting of the sun everyday. These clocks control our metabolism and daily hormone levels, the menstrual cycles, the speed and degree of childhood development, and the onset of adolescence and menopause. Other internal cycles are reflected in our emotional, mental, and physical energies as well as more subtle ones that influence our ingenuity, compassion, appreciation of beauty, our self-awareness, and our spiritual awareness.
Because we are governed by this natural world , we experience biological changes in response to the changes in our natural environment.
Each change of temperature, barometric pressure, and moisture level stimulates or challenges different organ systems and tissues of our bodies. We need to be flexible in order to adapt.
Each change of season requires our body to adapt in a way that is different from the season before it.
When we find ourselves tired, sick, stressed out and unable to enjoy the life that we have been blessed with there is a fairly good chance that we are living out of balance with Nature.
In TCM we see that at each season brings inherent changes that magnify these imbalances and they can become a problem for our health and wellness. Living according to the principle of Seasons can promote and improve our health tremendously.
In Chinese Medicine , Autumn is associated the Lungs.
This season governs organization, setting limits and protecting boundaries. In Autumn we move from the external, expansive nature of summer to the internal, contractive nature of autumn. It is a good time to focus more on the internal-cultivating and healing our bodies and our minds. Becoming more introspective allows us to discard old patterns and thoughts that no longer serve us. The energy of the Lungs is “letting go”, so autumn is a good time to be mindful to let go of anything we may be holding on to so that we can make room for the new experiences that will help us to learn and grow.
Autumn is also a season marked by increased cooling and drying. The extremely watery fruits of summer give way to the drier carrots, and potatoes, and seeds of all kinds. And the cooler temperatures give an edge to foods that stand little risk of freezing in comparison to the water-rich fruits and vegetables.
All of these natural changes in the world around us give us clues about the best foods to eat during the fall. We too will need more concentrated energy in the cooler autumn weather, and the denser foods of the autumn harvest – the root vegetables (including garlic, onion, carrot, potato, sweet potato, yam, and burdock), as well as the dense above-ground squashes and gourds (including winter squash, acorn squash, and pumpkin); and the dry, energy-rich nuts and seeds (including walnuts and sunflower seeds) are all part of the fall’s best food choices.
A final natural trend in the fall would be increased cooking and baking in the kitchen. In contrast to the light and cooling foods of summer that help to counterbalance the season of highest heat, autumn begins to initiate that transition into cold weather that makes us eager for a bowl of hot soup or steeped tea.
Chinese Medicine sees health not just as a medical issue that can be solved with therapeutic methods, but as our own responsibility in terms of the way we live and how this influences us and our society. A lifestyle that includes enough movement, especially in fresh air and sunlight, a balanced and nutrient dense diet, enjoying hobbies, good music and people that we love and cherish all help us to remain mentally and physically vital and healthy. We are then able to share our cheerful energy with those around us and contribute to the greater good of our community.
In addition to our “ Lifestyle Medicine “ different methods such as acupuncture, holistic nutrtion, meditation and massage represent an integral part of Traditional chinese Medicine and have beneficial effects on regaining and maintaining our good health.
Let Integrative Acupuncture play a role in your Optimal Health.