Traditional Chinese medicine understands how the seasonal changes affect the mind and body through the 5 element and yin-yang theory. Each season correlates to a different element, different organs and correspond to different stages in the yin-yang cycle.
The movement from yin to yang and back again is where life happens. It is irresistible, insistent, and never still. It is in the motion of the tides and the cycles of the seasons. It is in the peaks and valleys of a sine wave. It is in the exuberant embrace of new experience at the beginning of the day and in the peaceful slumber at the end of it, and in everything else.
Five element theories correspond to the five seasons, fire to summer, earth to the long summer, metal to fall, water to winter and wood to spring.
Warm, sunny dry weather as graced us throughout this beautiful Nova Scotian long summer, and here we are in the midst of seasonal change. Summer has officially come to an end and now begins autumn, the year when we naturally move from the inward focused masculine summer energies into the quiet, focused, feminine nature of fall.
Seasonal transitions are not always easy for even the healthiest of people. Fall being the season associated with metal, governing the organs of the lung and large intestine, people with respiratory deficiencies, dermatological disorders such as eczema or psoriasis or illness of the large bowl such as Crohn’s or colitis may be experiencing heightened discomfort or what some might refer to as a flare up’.
By using this knowledge of the five element theory a skilled traditional Chinese medicine acupuncturist will adjust their treatments based on the seasons, and take advantage of how the energy is circulating in your body.
Maintaining balance through these transitions is critical to our health and well-being. When proper self-care is ignored during a transition, then imbalance can happen and physical symptoms like colds, the flu, coughs, seasonal allergies, or aches and pains get worse. More frequently imbalances during these transitions also bring about psychological and mood disorders like SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture can reduce these problems by balancing the meridians and organ systems to better cope with the external and internal stresses of these season changes. Acupuncture can help strengthen the immune system and detoxify the body to prevent possible cold or flu-like symptoms from getting a grip on you. It can unblock stagnant points in meridians that cause mood disorders during seasonal change.
People who maintain a healthy lifestyle with acupuncture frequently visit their acupuncturists for a “tune-up” or “seasonal treatment” to help them get back on track when they start to feel run down or just “a little off”. This is very wise preventative self-care.
Those who are even more tuned-in to taking care of themselves will seek acupuncture and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) when going through life transitions. During acupuncture treatments the body processes the different stressors and stimuli which can otherwise overwhelm someone if they don’t take the healing time they need. Big life changes can be stressful, acupuncture can help increase your capacity to handle stress and process feelings and emotions.
It’s wise to book yourself in for some acupuncture to help fill up your own reserves so that you can handle the challenges ahead more harmoniously. Just request a “seasonal transition acupuncture treatment” and your acupuncturist will know exactly what to do.
— Jenny Blacklock R.Ac.