Late Summer and Transition to Autumn
Late summer is considered the 5th season in Chinese medicine. This season corresponds to the Earth Element and the Spleen and Stomach organs. Its color is yellow, heralding the harvest and golden color of the season.
Late summer's energy begins the descent of energy in nature. Right before the transition of summer to autumn, there is a pivot where Fire element of summer burns down and energy subdues. The fulcrum between yin energies of autumn and winter and yang energy of spring exists. Neither yang nor yin is predominant. When the body is in balance, a state of wellbeing and satisfaction is felt. We are well-nourished.
"Dampness" is a condition most frequently caused by humidity of late summer. Damp ground, summer rains and the like affect the body. This can be experienced as fatigue/lethargy, bloating, cold sweats, poor digestion, and body aches or achy joints. If you have these types of symptoms every year, you may have a constitutional imbalance in Earth/Spleen function.
Earth energy is at its best when we are well rested and not spreading ourselves too thin. Practice saying "no" to maintain a balance for self-care and care for others.
"Internal Dampness" is generally caused by eating lots of refined white sugar, white flour, ice-cold fruit, sugary soft drinks and sweets. Eating these types of foods impedes the spleen and pancreas function and suppresses immune and adrenal function.
This is the time to eat steamed or cooked vegetables and avoid raw, cold foods like salads
Nuts, seeds, hot soups, and proteins (like poultry and fish) are important to include now.
Increase your exercise to assist the immune system and keep the body feeling strong as winter approaches.
Acupuncture is a great way to support the body to prepare for the cold season. When Earth energy is at its peak, we can support the body to fight allergies and colds later in the year. Think of it as a seasonal 'tune-up'. May you be more nourished and reap the benefits of this season!
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Emily Davidson, L.Ac