Transitioning to Autumn
With autumn approaching and the beginning of the yin cycle, the energy of plants is moving down into their roots, helping the body become aware of the energy of the season. This season is a time for the body to begin gathering energy for the colder months to come.
The lungs and large intestine are the organs associated with fall. The lungs are responsible for the circulation of Qi (the body’s natural flow and circulation), and are also very susceptible to cold and illness. For this reason, it is important to stay healthy and warm during the season. If the Qi circulation is weakened, muscles will not be able to warm the body properly.
Vegetables of autumn like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale can help purify and protect your body against free radicals. These color-rich vegetables are packed with beta-carotene, which then turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for our immune system, especially as the cold and flu season rolls in. These vegetables can also strengthen your lungs and large intestine to fight illness.
Vegetables to cook with:
Autumn weather becomes more yin, calling for warming dishes. Foods to cook that are in harmony with the season include more sour foods, as well as foods rich in protein and fats.
Sour/pungent foods to cook with:
Some find it hard to let go of summer, with the longer days and warm air transitioning into the crisp and shorter days of fall. Acupuncture not only helps the body physically, but mentally as well. Fall is a great time to see an acupuncturist as your body and mind adapt to the changing of the season.
Give your acupuncturist a visit to prepare for the new season ahead and to stay in good health!
“Practical Chinese Medicine” Penelope Ody
Suffering from depression can make you feel hopeless, frustrated and like your quality of life will never get better. Many feel that prescription medications don’t help, and simply mask the problem instead of helping solve it. If you are dealing with depression, it is easy to get discouraged about your treatment options. Below are ways that you can naturally reduce your depression and get you back on a road to a healthier mind and body.
Acupuncture has been proven to be extremely beneficial for those dealing with depression. It releases any blockages in the flow of blood and energy and brings the body back to its natural state of balance. When the body is in balance we tend to feel physically, as well as mentally, healthy.
It is believed that acupuncture can be just as effective as antidepressants in helping depression. Acupuncture points can help stimulate the body’s production of endorphins and aid the release of serotonin and dopamine, which can increase one’s mood.
Taking a daily fish oil supplement can do more good than you think. It is believed that being deficient in omega-3s can cause mood swings and depression. Omega-3s are found in fish like salmon, tuna and herring and are not only good for your overall physical health but your mental health as well.
However, it is imperative you ascertain the quality and safety of the fish oil supplement you select for purchase. Make sure it is of the highest quality and that it was rigorously tested to satisfy standards for contaminates and toxins.
Meditation has been proven to have many benefits. Not only does it bring the heart rate down, calm the mind and reduce stress, but it can also bring the mind to a healthier place. Two studies have found that those who practice meditation have a lower rate of relapsing than those who take medication alone.
Spending time outdoors and in the sun can have great effects on your mood. When one doesn’t get enough sunlight, it can strongly affect how you feel and is one of the main causes of seasonal affective disorder. Try spending even just 15 to 30 minutes outside every day whether it is walking, gardening or just simply sitting outside.
There is nothing better than the natural high you get after a good workout. Exercise, whether it is running, swimming or yoga, releases endorphins that can give you a mood boost. Try spending 30 minutes a day doing some sort of exercise. One study found that patients who worked out regularly saw a decrease in their symptoms of depression by half in 12 weeks. Not only does exercise improve your body physically, but mentally as well.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
People suffering with depression often consume damaging substances like alcohol and drugs to help mask their symptoms. It is recommended that those with depression should not have more than a drink on occasion. Alcohol and drugs affect brain chemistry and can later intensify your mood for the worse.
Take a break
Depression can often worsen when you are feeling stressed and overworked. Try to take some time off to relax. If it isn’t possible to take vacation time, try to fit in at least an hour a day of relaxation time. Whether it’s meditating, reading or closing your eyes for a bit, take some time for deep breaths and a way to shut off from the rest of the world.