Chinese Medicine in Season


by Dr. Ursula Nickel, DOM

The leaves are turning, the nights are getting cooler, we are cleaning out our closets and letting go of things; we feel autumn's Metal energy. It's the time when the life force on every plant withdraws from its leaves and branches to collect in the roots. Everything and everybody becomes more YIN, turning inward.

The Lungs and Large Intestine are connected to the Metal Element. The Lungs help us breathe and keep our immune system strong. The Large Intestine eliminates waste from our body. They both teach us to hold on to what is of value and to let go what we don't need anymore. Imbalances result in exhaustion, cold or flu, allergies, asthma, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, cough, skin rashes, constipation or diarrhea.

Fall is a great time to balance Lung and Large Intestine

Diet: A fall diet should be rich and hearty, more meats, nuts, fish and oils are appropriate as the weather gets cooler. Use pungent flavors which we find in garlic, onions, cinnamon and ginger. Eat fruits with thick peels like citrus fruits, bananas and mangos.

Breath: Practice Pranayama or Qi Gong as the breath gets you in touch with the ethereal energy of the Metal element.

Feng Shui: Enhance your environment with crystals and mirrors or wear gold or silver jewelry; in rooms with electronic or electric devices like computers, TV's or kitchen appliances, calm the metal element by enriching the room with color, shape, texture and incense.

Acupuncture: When acupuncture uses metal needles or electrical current to stimulate the points and meridians, it calls upon Metal energies.

Metal teaches us to see life as it really is. It cuts through our delusions and lets us recognize that something of great value remains with us despite or even because of our losses. By letting go, we become deeper, fuller and richer beings


Ursula Nickel, DOM
Doctor of Oriental Medicine