Just when we thought this warm spell at the end of summer would last forever, the cooler air is upon us, welcoming us into Fall. Times of transition, such as season changes, are a great time for reflection and a good time to jump start healthy habits. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) emphasizes that what is happening in nature can impact how we feel, so being mindful as we transition to a new season is important. Fall is classically associated with dryness, but here in New England you may see other factors in our weather including dampness, cold, and wind that can affect our health. Be prepared with these tips!
- Grab your scarves and pashminas Wind is considered a pathogenic factor in TCM and can be a vehicle for germs. Wearing your scarf you protect the back of your neck, considered a vulnerable area in TCM, to help ward off illness.
- Keep your hands and feet warm You may have gotten used to the easy on and off of flip flops, but it is time to move them out of your clothing routine. Cold constricts blood flow and since our hands and feet are farther from our core they feel it first. By keeping them covered, you stimulate blood flow.
- Warm up your meals In the summer we crave easy, no-cook foods and can be satisfied by grabbing handfuls of fresh fruits and veggies. These foods are considered energetically cooling when raw, so as fall comes they are less appropriate. Start thinking about using your slow cooker, roasting vegetables, and adding spices like cinnamon and ginger to meals.
- Add indoor exercise back into your routine Warm summer weather makes it easy to be active and implement movement into your daily routine. While cooler weather may make you want to stay inside, it is important to continue to exercise to keep your immune system strong. Now is a great chance to get your in-home gym resources ready. Remember, you can always swing by one of our yoga classes!
Carole Wyche is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, as well as an NCCAOM Diplomate of Oriental Medicine.