Autumn is a time of seeming opposites: a time to interact but
also at time to maintain distance and reflect. In Traditional Chinese
Medicine, autumn is connected to the Metal element and the organs are the large
intestine and the lungs - metaphorically it is the “skin” through which we “take
in” and “let go”. The Metal element influences the skin and fascia (the
connective tissue that separates and wraps all the organs, muscles and bones)
and is crucial to the vitality of the body and mind. If this element is
healthy we are in touch with our feelings and we are able to communicate them to
others appropriately – it is the power of honesty, uprightness and pride in
oneself. If the Metal element is impaired a person can feel tired,
depressed, sad, shortness of breath, we can be prone to colds, skin conditions,
elimination problems, irritable bowel.
At this time of the year it is helpful to give our lungs a good tonic
and also boost up the immune system. Burning essential oils
such as peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, manuka or frankincense help the immune
system and the lungs. Often we do feel sad at this time of the
year because we are going into winter. Deep breathing practice helps the
processing of grief and depression – walking in nature with hill climbs are
If you have trouble with your digestion (especially constipation) try
massaging a mixture of 10 mls of castor oil and the essential oils of orange (2
drops), fennel (1 drop) and black pepper (2 drops) on your abdomen, cover with a
towel and a hottie for 15 minutes.
The skin and fascia all benefit from massage, especially myofascial
release massage. It helps the elasticity of the skin and fascia – it also calms the mind
and relaxes the body.
Elayne Lane is an instructor of the Universal Healing Tao. She has been teaching and doing bodywork in excess of 20 years.