The Autumnal Equinox signals a time of turning inward as daylight and warmth lessen. Nature contracts and pulls in. Leaves fall, and vegetables, fruit and flowers decompose fertilizing the soil. The sap in trees descends to the roots, pulling the life energy of the tree down and inward to rest. This is a natural time for us to rest as well. Unfortunately, in our culture, resting is not highly valued. Plus, the seasons in which we should naturally be resting, Autumn and Winter, are filled with holidays and the busy-ness and expectations surrounding them. I would encourage you to plan some time (if that's the only way it will happen!) to rest and reflect as the year starts to draw toward a close.
In Chinese medicine, Autumn is associated with the Metal element, the organs of the Lung and Large intestine and the emotion of grief. The Lung is responsible for inhaling the clear Qi (energy) from the air and exhaling the waste Qi from the interior of the body. The Large Intestine also helps remove waste from the body. The Lung also distributes the defensive Qi (Wei Qi) and body fluid, warming and moistening the skin and hair. Imbalances of the Lung and/or Large Intestine energy may result in fatigue, weak respiration, shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, constipation or diarrhea, susceptibility to catching cold, edema and weak voice or hoarseness.
This is also the time of year when things are dying back in nature and is often a time when old griefs resurface. Paying attention to strengthening the Lung energy can help us deal with both the emotional and physical challenges the season may bring.
Acupuncture Benefits and Conditions
Nutrients and Herbs
I used Barbra MacNair, on Telegraph, near Ashby (across from Whole Foods) throughout most of my pregnancy. I went in seeking help with bloody noses -- which she was able to diminish, but not totally eliminate -- and all of the other hormonal and pregnancy issues, along with a lot of work stress. She was wonderful throughout and helped a lot. Her number is 649-8054, and the actual address is 3021 Telegraph Avenue, Suite B, Berkeley. Good luck! Laurel
Berkeley Parents Network
I had been struggling with chronic fatigue for five years when I was referred to Barbra. My experience with the medical establishment had been counterproductive. To my surprise, the acupuncture treatment was painless and very relaxing. Barbra was always available to answer my questions about Chinese Medicine, the body, diet and stress. Her approach is a holistic one, committed to patient empowerment and responsibility in the healing process. After eight months my symptoms have diminished and I feel more alive and balanced. My immune system is strong again and I am learning how to keep it that way.
When I first went to Barbra for help, the arthritis pain in my knees was so severe that there were days when I could hardly walk. My swollen feet and ankles only added to the discomfort. I was taking prescription medication and was getting periodic injections of cortisone, but nothing really seemed to help.
Within a month, I was walking with little – and sometimes no– pain, and had dramatically reduced the amount of medication I was taking. The swelling was virtually gone. Weekly and sometimes less frequent treatments, and the Chinese herbs I am taking, are really making a change in my life! Where once I could barely walk, now I am — metaphorically and sometimes literally – dancing.
It's harvest time! Fall produces an abundance of fruits and vegetables which support our immune systems as well as fuel our bodies. As we move into the colder seasons of the year it becomes more important to add heavier and more warming foods to the diet. This is the time of year to be eating more protein, fat and whole grains and spicy vegetables and herbs.