1. Go To Bed Early: Go to bed early and get up with the chickens (at dawn). This will allow all mental faculties to become calm and peaceful, and moderate the descending Qi of autumn.
2. Increase Sour Foods: One should decrease the intake of pungent flavors in the fall while increasing sour ones, since this will nourish and protect Liver Qi. Sour foods such as sour and pungent leek are most appropriate for autumn. Other examples include sourdough bread, sauerkraut, olives, pickles, adzuki beans, rose hip tea, vinegar, yogurt, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and sour plums and apples.
3. An Ancient Fall Exercise: Both spring and autumn are seasons of change, and it is a common time for imbalance to arise. It is particularly important to take good care of yourself at this time! Right after waking up in the morning: close your eyes, click your teeth twenty-one times, swallow your saliva, rub your hands together and let the heat from your palms penetrate into your eyeballs. Rub your hands and cup your eyeballs repeatedly. It is said if one practices this exercise regularly during the three months of autumn, the eyes will become bright and illuminated.
4. Fewer Salads & More Soups: Gastro-intestinal conditions are common at this time of year. The function of the digestive system often becomes deficient in autumn, and we need to take extra care and eat well to prevent diarrhea. After summer, autumn is time to clear excess heat from the body (try pears, apples & persimmons), and then as temperatures drop, it is time to start warming the body, against extremes. While this may seem contradictory, summer heat saps strength, while internal warmth supports strength. Far fewer salads and more soups!
5. Learn to Love Cabbage: Late in autumn, cabbage supports the Liver Qi and relaxes the intestines helping to support regularity.
‘The ancient Greeks thought cabbage could both prevent drunkenness and cure a hangover, which are related to the Liver in Chinese medicine’
It is always important to calm and support the Liver. In autumn, also try mustard greens, chestnuts, pine nuts, turmeric, cumin and ginger. Liver (lamb, beef, pork) congee is an excellent way to rejuvenate your own neglected or abused Liver in the autumn season. Pork is considered the most moistening meat and is very nutritious, so it’s most suitable to eat in fall. After the yang of summer, pork enriches the yin!
There is an old Chinese Saying:
‘Stay 70% warm and 70% full and eat lots of cabbage and root vegetables and live a long and healthy life!’
For the comprehensive article see How To Stay Healthy in Autumn
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Tan L.AC. is a licensed Acupuncturist. After completing his degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Alex lived and practiced Chinese Medicine for 10-years in Beijing, China. A native-born Australian, the son of his Australian mother and Chinese father, Alex’s bi-cultural heritage helps him skillfully bridge Eastern and Western health perspectives. He believes the true power of Chinese medicine lies in a balanced approach towards prevention and treatment. Rooted in Chinese Medicine observation based theory & methodology over millenniums, Alex’s talent lies in delivering these Eastern healing modalities to his modern Western clients. For more about Alex click here
Alex runs a clinic in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona. Alex welcomes comments and questions to his articles. To schedule an appointment in person or telco-appointment click here
I love your newsletters and thank you so much for such interesting details, simply considered. Always gives me something to share and have discussions about with my patients.
Michaele, thank you and it is a pleasure to share ‘yang-sheng’ information as I feel the real power in Chinese Medicine is the proactive-preventative medicine. Thanks!
I was curious, what is the meaning of ‘clicking of teeth 21 times?’
oops, I’d meant to apply this question to my previous note/comment.
thank you in advance,