Optimal Health for the Fall Season

Art by the amazing  Laura Berger

Art by the amazing Laura Berger

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first blog post! I am so excited to be here and share my healing knowledge with you in this space of the internet. Please share my posts with your family and friends on Instagram and Facebook, so that they may benefit and learn how to better care for themselves.

I am a Naturopathic doctor, as well as an intuitive healer and acupuncturist. Chinese medicine has a great influence on my personal life and how I practice medicine. Chinese medicine focuses deeply on looking to nature for how to heal and care for our bodies, hearts, and minds. With today being the Autumnal Equinox and first day of fall, I want to share how we can best care for ourselves at this time of the year. 

In Chinese medicine, there are five elements. Fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Fall is the season which is represented by the metal element. Metal corresponds to our lungs and large intestine (colon). They are a pair. These organs are all about letting go, just as the trees let go of their leaves during this time of the year. Instead of there being energy that is directed outward, there is a turning inward that we all begin to do. It is an absolutely beautiful time of year in our external and internal environments. 

Our lungs inhale potent oxygen, and exhale carbon dioxide that our bodies do not need. Our large intestine excretes waste, so that we can let go of the toxins that accumulate within our digestive tract. This is all so that we do not get sick. These organs are absolutely essential in keeping our immune systems healthy.

In addition to their physiologic responsibilities, every organ houses different emotions we as humans express. The lungs process and sometimes store any grief, sadness, or loss we experience throughout our lives. If we aren't able to or choose not to work with and process these emotions, they can get "stuck" within us and create disharmony and imbalance. Also, if you are waking up anytime between 3-5AM, your body is trying to communicate with you. There might be some unresolved grief or sadness sitting inside of you. The deep inner work is always the most rewarding for inner peace and harmony within. 

The lungs open up to the skin. This is very important when it comes to dermatology and keeping the skin healthy.  If the lungs are inflamed, often times I will see them express their imbalance within the skin, that is why I treat the lungs (and their emotions) time and time again with my dermatology patients. 

Now that you have some background on fall and these organs, here are my favorite ways to keep myself, my family and my patients healthy throughout this season!

1. With the temperature dropping and the wind picking up, I always recommend wearing a big fluffy scarf around your neck when outside and keeping your ankles covered with pants, socks, or tights. The neck and the ankles are most vulnerable to cold and wind. When these areas are exposed to these elements, we can catch colds and flus more easily. Also, bundle up on any flights you take! The drafts on planes can do the same!

2. With a tendency towards dryness in the fall, it's best to eat moistening, warming, and nurturing foods. Pears, bone broth, stewed or cooked apples, roasted carrots, parsnips, beets, onion, scallions, garlic, sweet potatoes, winter squash and warming herbs and spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, anise and ginger are perfect. It's the best time to bust out the slow cooker, dutch oven, or instant pot to make soups, stews, and roasts.

3. To properly care for our metal organs, it's very important to exercise and detox them, so to speak. This is where movement and sweating comes in! Find a form of exercise you LOVE! If you need help navigating this, please listen to my podcast on iTunes called Bee Natural Radio. Dr. Amy Bader and I talk all about exercise and how to find the sweet spot with it. Our lungs need oxygen, our skin needs to sweat, and our large intestine needs movement and twisting of the torso. 

4. Fall and spring are the most optimal times of the year to step up your health game. Whether that be adding more vegetables into your diet, establishing a solid bedtime routine, drinking more water (that is something I am always working on!) getting bi-weekly acupuncture treatments, or making that appointment to work with the right holistic healthcare practitioner to help you truly feel your best, now is the time. The energy of Mother Nature is incredibly potent and supportive right now for healing ourselves, in body, mind, and spirit. Use this energy to help you shed whatever may be weighing you down, so that you can start anew. 

5. Journal! We are all incredibly complex beings and all of us have different needs. The one thing we all have in common is that we need an outlet to feel whole mentally and emotionally. Our emotional bodies need tending to, and journaling is the #1 tool I recommend to all of my patients for this. It's the best place to start and a healing tool you will always have. All you need is pen and paper. This season supports our ability to let go of old thought patterns, habits, beliefs, and ideas that do not serve us anymore. This makes space for the pure and new. This allows us to see what is most precious, valuable, and truly important to us without any distractions. I can already feel this shift. That's why I love fall! The old falls off, so that the pure and new can come in. How beautiful is that? 

6. Lastly, I recommend taking some time today or tomorrow to write down how you want to spend the last few months of 2019. What do you want to fill your days with? Who do you want to spend time with? Do you want to learn something new? Is there anywhere you want to go? What kind of person do you want to be from today going forward? These are great questions to ask yourself right now. What intentions do you want to put into the rest of 2019? I am going to do this tonight.

I hope you all have enjoyed and learned a thing or two from this first blog post! Health is the deepest form of wealth and I am so grateful to be able to walk through this wellness journey together. Please comment with any questions you have below, and follow me on IG and Facebook. If you’d like to become a patient, click here to work with me and we will get the healing process started. If you are new to my website, feel free to look around. I have lots of great information about natural medicine, my medical philosophy, and how I help my patients heal. Sending all my love and healing energy to you. Happy fall!