The fall has finally arrived! It is my absolute favorite season here on the beach. The tourists have returned to their busy lives and children are once again back in school. All is still and quiet here in my little slice of heaven. Autumn is a great time of reflection and renewal for me. The stillness of the Island has set in and things move in slow motion as the fall migration begins. It’s a time to re-evaluate my priorities and clean up anything that I have essentially left undone or forgotten.
In Classical Chinese Medicine, Autumn is when the cool, sinking energy of Yin has begun to overpower the hot, rising Yang energy of summer. Things become quieter, the air takes on a chill and the energy of plants moves into their roots. Classical Chinese Medicine associates Autumn with death, contraction, and the ending of cycles. It is also recognized as a time of decision making, when we must choose what to let go of and what to carry forward in order to ensure our survival during the cold, difficult winter season.
Interesting. Did you know that the element associated with autumn is Metal. The main organ for this element is the Lungs and the cooler days of Autumn present some challenges to the respiratory system and to immunity. In the west, we know Autumn as the beginning of the cold and flu season and Classical Chinese Medicine recognizes this as a time when our surface immunity, called Wei Qi, begins to wane and we become more vulnerable to adverse weather and environmental influences. If we maintain a balanced Metal element as we move through autumn, we will be more likely to avoid these seasonal challenges. Enter Aromatherapy!
Emotional problems that may accompany Metal imbalance include low self-esteem, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, unresolved grief, depression characterized by a lack of connectedness, and a host of psychosomatic complaints. It appears Classical Chinese Medicine once again hits the nail on the head, at least for me.
Practitioners of Classical Chinese Medicine attribute the following essential oils to the Metal element:
- Clary Sage
- Eucalyptus Globus
- German Chamomile
- Tea Tree
Essential oils of other elements may also be helpful during Autumn, including:
- Balsam Fir
- Black Pepper
- Mandarin (Citrus Fresh)
As you can see , many of these essential oils have been claimed by modern aromatherapists to address respiratory issues and boost immunity. The claims are all backed by science based on the constituents of each oil. My new blog series will address the scientific and healing properties of each essential oil and blend according to modern chemistry.
As you traverse this autumn season be mindful of your personal “emotion baggage” and be reminded that this is the time of the year to clear out the old and make room for the new. Get in touch with where your emotions go in your body. When you get emotional, does your heart beat faster, does your stomach knot up, do you get neck pain? By developing an awareness of the connections between feelings and physical reactions you may be able to quash the development of psychosomatic symptoms. It is a good idea to release negative emotions through breath work, bodywork (pilates), meditation, aromatherapy, and routines like yoga and Qi Gong before they begin to manifest in the body. My favorite release will naturally be the quietness of my now private beach through daily long walks with the sounds of the waves hitting the shore and the most amazing sunrises and sunsets I have ever witnessed. What will you be doing?
Remember, what you put on your body goes into your body. Use only pure, theraputic grade essential oils.