“Who looks outside dreams, Who looks inside awakens” – Carl Jung

Nature has certainly ebbed and flowed this summer making way for a robust fall around the corner. Welcome to the sights, sounds, tastes and touch of this colorful, crisp season gently nudging you toward hibernation.

Autumn is a transitional time, giving you the opportunity to take all it has to offer while giving back as much as you can in return. How can you give back? Utilizing healthy habits for your mind and body will anchor you to your planet while lifting up your spirit. Viewing life through this lens inevitably perpetuates a gentler outlook of the world around you. It enables you to stop, take it in, and approach your surroundings with compassion, kindness and environmental sustainability.

Look within this fall and find all that lingers, then shed yourself of anchors while filling yourself with the light that emerges, bounces and shimmers off Nature’s fleeting rainbow performance.

A Classical Perspective

The constitution of fall is eloquently described in, ‘A Classical Chinese Medicine Perspective on the Nature of Aging and Longevity, by Heiner Fruehauf,

“The cool breath of nature brings death–while the 1st month marked the beginning of plant growth, the 7th month, directly opposite on the circle of life, indicates the end of it. The seasonal pitch of this time is Yize (Equalizing Rule), executing the metal punishment of fall by “beginning to disintegrate the 10,000 things.” At the same time, the cooling temperatures and the crisp light of fall have a coagulating effect on the material world, making the outlines and shapes of all things more visible than ever, and causing nature to explode in a last burst of color and radiance at the uppermost and outermost reaches of the plant world. In parallel fashion, it is the task of the bladder system in Chinese medicine to keep the spine straight and supple, to keep invading pathogens at bay by maximizing surface circulation, and to keep the process of jing – qi-shen transformation along the spinal passageway intact, resulting in bright vision, clarity of thought, and a radiant appearance in the head region of the body.”

This is ancient awareness that still applies today, reminding you that the ecological terrain outside your body completely correlates with your interior landscape.

Let Go: Release, Repair and Restore

Fall is the season of the element metal which is described here by Chinese Medicine Central,

“The maintenance of boundaries is a key theme of the Metal element and of the fall. Where the summer is all about free flowing social activity and the exploration of everything and everybody, the fall is about reestablishing our separation, reigning in the desire to go farther and farther out. It is time for recognizing what is ours (the harvest).”

Metal correlates with the two organs lung and large intestine. The function of each organ is essential, particularly when associated with the current season.

  • Lung – Acts as the first line of defense against pathogens as well as assists in detox elimination. Because autumn is a season of dryness it is important to keep the lungs functioning on all cylinders through diet, acupuncture, and gentle exercise like yoga or thai chi.
  • Large Intestines – Working with the lungs, the large intestines eliminates toxins while absorbing nutrients. In autumn, it is imperative to maintain a strong large intestine because along with the lungs it is the best time to incorporate a systemic detoxification.

Just like spring cleaning, autumn brings a time when you can release, repair and restore both mental and physical challenges. Through meditation, supplementation and various applications such as acupuncture, massage and yoga you can rebalance your full energy spectrum.

Shedding yourself of anything that anchors you this fall season is recommended. This gives metal a chance to flourish, feeding all other autumn associations such as:

  • Organs – Lungs, Large intestine, Skin
  • Sense organ – Nose
  • Emotion – Grief and sadness
  • Climate – Dryness
  • Stage of development – Harvest
  • Flavor – Pungent
  • Color – White
  • Sound – Crying
  • Healing sound – “Sssssssss”

Some shedding recommendations include:

  • Catch up with your bills
  • Organize your closets and papers
  • Clean your pantry
  • Donate your shoes and clothes that you haven’t used in years

With a successful rebalancing you can then tap into winter, readying yourself for a deep hibernation that will emerge like a sunburst, come spring.

Get to the Right Point

Acupuncture is one of the first go-to remedy and rejuvenation practices that can catapult your inner balance through seasonal transitions. It is a way to “wake up” your Qi (chee) life flowing force that may have obstacles along some of its many pathways or meridians.

An acupuncturist tuned in and experienced with each season’s opening and closing passageways will be able to address the ability for your body to prepare for the upcoming fall season.

In addition, similar to talk therapy, acupuncture can assist in a type of “mental therapy” working with a release of emotions and stuck energy. The fall is essential for this release as it correlates with purging oneself to prepare for dialing down when winter arrives.

One semblance of proof that acupuncture may help mental clutter was shown when applied to a common disorder, postpartum depression. Published in Medical Acupuncture (6/13), a study titled ‘Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review’ by researchers from the Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation and Pain Center, Washington, DC. and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, concluded that,

“With respect to six reviewed studies, there is high-level evidence to support the use of acupuncture for treating major depressive disorder in pregnancy.”

Try a weekly acupuncture session, particularly in the first phase of autumn, to clean out and rebuild your mental and physical constitution.

The Autumn Medicine Cabinet

Eating seasonal foods is the best way to keep your body in tune with nature. Reaching for a non-seasonal food flown halfway across the globe just to appease a spoiled palate contributes to physical, mental and environmental weakness.

This autumn seek out local farms, stands and farmer’s markets to get the freshest local fare available and then make some seasonal dishes to feed your autumn fire.

Winter Squash & Ginger Soup

Eating the vegetables and fruits that ripen in autumn helps the body transition into the season and stay healthy. Because the Qi is seen to go downwards and return to the earth in autumn, root vegetables and winter squashes that lie on the earth and absorb the sun’s energy over the summer are particularly good. Winter squashes include butternut, pumpkin, and acorn squash, any of which would be a good choice for this nutrient dense soup.

According to Chinese medicine, winter squash is warm in nature with an affinity for the Spleen and Stomach, and is a Qi tonic. In western terms, winter squash contains lots of complex carbohydrates, is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium and manganese, and a good source of vitamin E, vitamins B 2 & 6, folate, vitamin K, iron and magnesium.

INGREDIENTS:

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
Large butternut or other winter squash cubed and peeled (about 1.5 pounds)
1-2 chopped carrots
1 stalk chopped celery
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (preferably organic)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Optional: one bunch kale with stems removed and finely chopped
Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

  • Melt coconut oil or butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add squash, carrot, celery, garlic and onion; sauté for 10-12 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; stir in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
  • Use a handheld immersion blender in the pot to blend until smooth. Alternately, place batches of the soup in a blender. Remove center portion of blender lid to allow steam to escape, and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean dishtowel over opening in blender lid to avoid splatters
  • Blend until smooth

Optional: Add finely chopped kale and bring back to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. (Recipe courtesy of: MayWay)

In addition to seasonal eating for optimal health, there are many opportunities to relieve fall induced ailments using simple botanical remedies. These can go a long way, especially for fall allergies, before succumbing to over-the-counter cover up fixes that only suppress your body’s natural rhythm.

Tabor View Health and Wellness recommends:

For: Runny nose, thin watery discharge, sneezing, achy body, headache
Avoid: Raw foods, cold foods, and dairy
Try: Warm foods, green onions, coriander, spiced tea, ginger, garlic, cinnamon

For: Burning sore throat, cough, yellow phlegm, thick phlegm, fever, stuffy nose
Avoid: Warm and hot foods, dairy
Try: Pear juice, green tea

Ginger Tea Recipe

Ginger is pungent and warm. This pungent warmth can help your lungs regain their hindered dispersing and dissipating function. Ginger can also help calm an upset stomach. Use responsibly and sparingly as a moderate amount of pungent flavor assists our lungs, too much on a regular basis can actually damage the lung’s natural rhythm and dry out body fluids.

Wash ginger root. Slice thumb sized pieces of ginger and place in 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes and drink while warm.

News & Noteworthy

Recent news shows how the naturopathic and Eco-friendly movements are gaining traction, bringing hope in a time it is needed most.

Fertility Remedies

The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC) reports that,

“Both men and women face fertility challenges, and these challenges can take physical and emotional tolls on a couple. Conventional treatments can be extremely expensive and complicated, so many who struggle with infertility seek alternative solutions that are more manageable and approachable. Naturopathic medicine, with its holistic, patient-centric philosophy, has helped countless couples resolve their fertility challenges and conceive easily and safely.”

Dr. Stephanie Seitz, who specializes in women’s health at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine recommends some fertility enhancing approaches:

  • Change to a whole foods diet (increase protein, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies) and eliminate fried foods and sugary foods and drinks.
  • Increase water consumption.
  • Take the right supplements (prenatals, probiotics, fish oil, vitamin D) that can support the body while a woman is trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and postpartum.
  • Try acupuncture to help with stress reduction, which can be a reason why a woman is not conceiving. Acupuncture can also help with menstrual issues such as ovulation irregularity, menstrual pain, and PMS.
  • A healthy weight can be beneficial for improving fertility but also can help during pregnancy and labor.

The World Moves On

With the current American political administration leaving the Paris Climate Change Accord, the rest of the world is moving on. Eco-News reports,

“Europe’s top climate official Miguel Arias Canete said the EU continues to press for “full and swift implementation” of the accord, noting that progress has been made toward finalising details of its plan to reduce European emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.”

Naturopathic Treatment on the Rise

The Huffington Post recently reported that,

“According to a newly-released study, 55 percent of older Americans who live in states that license naturopathic physicians (NDs) would consider seeking care from such a provider. Because naturopathic physicians are not currently eligible to participate in Medicare, most seniors are unable to obtain care from a naturopathic physician despite the interest and desire.”

Finally a sign of wanting to control one’s own health,

“The study is a wake-up call to policy makers,” offered Jud Richland, CEO of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). “Seniors are saying loud and clear that they want Medicare to provide access to holistic care providers such as licensed naturopathic physicians.”

Enjoy your fall season while following a strengthening protocol for your body and mind. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or Click Here to schedule an online appointment.

*Please Click Here to see a current list of Insurance Companies that commonly carry acupuncture benefits for its members. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email info@intmedsolutions.com to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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