Updated April 2023. Originally published in Living Now magazine, 2016.
At this time of year, as the sap of the trees and flowers returns to their root systems, we too are preparing to turn inward. In virtually every ancient medicine system, this season of harvest was seen as the time of the year to pull inward and gather together on all levels; a time to plan for the approaching darkness and stillness of winter.
In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), autumn is associated with wind and dryness. It’s also the season associated with the lungs and large intestine, which are responsible for releasing carbon dioxide and food wastes, respectively. It follows that the energy of both these organs is ‘letting go’. Elimination problems like chronic constipation can be exacerbated at this time of year. Emotionally, it’s the time of year to look at things we are hanging onto that are no longer serving us, and to let them go for good.