Not another fall blog post!
My inbox is currently chalk full of emails from every kind of business and practitioner, inviting me to prepare for / embrace the season. It’s always interesting to me when this happens, because there don’t seem to be an equivalent number of campaigns for any other season. Particularly in the world of East Asian medicine, everyone has their seasonal recommendations ready to go in a uniquely intense way.
I think the urge to give and receive advice about preparing for fall comes from a deep place of collective wisdom. Even if we aren’t farming or foraging as modern city-dwellers, we know that now is the time to gather resources and take stock of what we have. Living through the winter may not be as intense of a challenge for those of us lucky enough to have housing, but the cold and/or damp of the season can still wear on us, and we are definitely still dealing with seasonal illnesses.
So I guess I am going to join the chorus of people giving out fall advice after all! Here is quick run-down:
Cook your veggies! Now that summer is over and our bodies are going to be dealing with damp and cold, help your system out by switching from salads to cooked veggies. Even a quick steam with some oil and vinegar can go a long way to making various greens more appetizing and easy to digest. If you tend to feel a little nauseated after eating veggies, consider using ginger in your recipe to help strengthen the stomach fire.
Take your vitamin D. I know, not really Chinese medicine, but it’s crucial for brain health and when the sun goes away our brains get sad without it
Start an elderberry routine. Local indigenous medicine is wonderful, and you can often find elderberry syrups made by your local herbalist friends. Elderberry is an immune tonic that helps us fight off the bugs that go around this time of year, and prevention is way more fun than treatment.
Come get acupuncture if you are feeling run-down or out of sorts. The best time to treat an illness is at the very beginning, when people are feeling just a little bit off. If it seems like allergies or a cold, then come in and we’ll wear masks and treat it. If you know that you have covid, then yes, please stay home, but please do email me so that we can get herbal medicine started ASAP. We can make the whole thing much less unpleasant.
Carve out time for rest. Things get busier in the fall and winter, which is the opposite of what our bodies want to be doing. We can’t make the world stop, but we can find small moments to let ourselves drop into our inner experience and maybe take a nap.
That’s all for now. Take care out there!
-Rowan Everard LAc, DACM