|Posted by earthygirl81 on October 19, 2018 at 8:55 PM|
Autumn & the Effects of Nutrition on Our Moods
Autumn is ruled by the Lungs/ Large Intestines Organs and the Element Metal in TCM. This is the time to release and let go of what no longer services us. The Metal Element also rules dryness in our bodies and the weather, direction of the West, color of white, flavor of spicy, rotten smell of decay, the nose/skin/ body hair, and the emotion of grief. Autumn can present to be challenging to many who struggle with letting go and releasing the old and by those sensitive to cooler and less sunny months of the year. Both of these Organs are connected to releasing in the outside world. The view on this release is beautiful as the Lungs are our connection to the outside world, we breathe in what we need and breath out what is old and no longer needed. The Large Intestines release substances that are useless after the nutrients has been absorbed by other organs in the body. In Western thought, we view Spring as time to release with Spring Cleaning. However, if we look to nature it is doing its releasing in the Fall with the leaves falling and the last Harvest before many plants die. Showing us how to send back to the earth what is dead to be transmuted into fresh life in the Spring, Pure Alchemy.
I often see many who struggle to release the old and get stuck and/or fight the feelings of grief. This can manifest in many ways such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, excessive crying/grieving, and holding on. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.”
As an Expressive Arts Holistic Health Counselor I look at the whole person I am working with and alternative ways to treat. This includes considering the changes of season and the effects it has on the mind and body. This helps me make suggestions for my kid and teen clients, and their parents regarding foods, herbs, and lifestyles changes.
As a Herbalist, I take the view that food is the people's medicine and its the first place I start with clients in my office. Here are some suggestions I use for creating a smoother transition into the Fall months ahead. Eat root vegetables (onions, carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes, beets, potatoes, yams, beets, sweet potatoes–if it grows underground, it is an Autumn food), whole grains, lentils and legumes, winter squash (Hubbards, pumpkins, spaghetti, acorn, butternut), meats (roast, bake or stew the meat and make up broths), autumn fruits(peaches, pears, nectarines, grapes and apples), and use herbs and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, thyme, sage, and garlic.
Remember its important to reduce stress and excessive worry, get out in nature, breath, and to exercise-build strength and muscle to protect you during the cold months ahead. Let go of what no longer is for your highest good with grace. Nurture yourself and get supportive services such as: therapy, acupuncture, reiki, massages, and whatever else works for you as soon as you notice any symptoms of depression start. Follow my blog and check my website for upcoming workshops to learn more nutrition and herbal tips.