When Your Body Says “Achoo!” Here’s What to Do

Protect your mind, body and spirit this fall

The cold winds of change are upon us and so is cold-and-flu season.

Have you ever noticed that when the seasons change, we start wishing we could change too?
While the warmer seasons inspire creativity, fun and reinvention, fall and winter guide us to look inward as the days get shorter and darker.
As the temperature drops on this side of the world, let’s look downward and do some navel gazing about what might be blocking us from receiving the sunshine of optimal wellness and balance.
According to Chinese Medicine the natural elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Water and Metal belong to an intuitive and benevolent system existing in all things. These five elements affect a wide array of natural phenomena ranging from how the solar system unfolds to the health and vitality of our internal organs.
Want to learn more about your element personality?
Metal is the element associated with autumn because the Metal element help balance and protect our respiratory and immune systems as well as our large intestine and skin.
Some clear signs your Metal Element is out of balance is if you have a runny nose, chronic cough with lots of (green/yellow, gross) phlegm, low immunity and low energy.
Metal imbalances don’t just show up in your body but in your emotional health too. How well do you experience and release emotions? Whether you rant, rage or repress difficult emotions, improper release of “negative” feelings are clear indications of a Metal Element imbalance robbing you of letting go and letting life flow.
So what do we do? How do we re-balance our mind, body and spirit this fall?
Here are three powerful and simple tools for lightening up and staying as strong as steel as the days get darker and colder.
Protect your neck. Take extra precautions to keep your chest and neck warm by wearing a scarf or always zipping up your jacket before heading outdoors. The acupuncture points on the neck are most susceptible to wind and cold.  If your chest and neck get cold, expect the sniffles to sneak up on you so bundle up and zip up when braving cold temperatures.
Rest is best. The moment you feel cold and flu symptoms coming on – achiness, sniffles, coughs, tiredness – change your diet FAST. Supercharge your immune system by eating pungent foods such as steamed or braised garlic, onions and turnips. Add cinnamon and ginger to your recipes for a super immunity boost. Spike your coffee with cinnamon for extra flavor and power.
Love your lungs. Most people feel a downward shift in energy and mood as we experience less daylight during the fall and winter months. This simple, three-minute Qigong Lung Cleansing Exercise alleviates feelings of lethargy and sadness while clearing the lungs so you feel energized, healthy and calm no matter how dark and cold it is outside.
Say “boo” to cold and flus this fall. Happy Halloween – may you receive the treats of good health this season and always.
-Chris Shelton

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