It may be feeling more like winter, but we still have a full month of Fall. In Chinese Medicine Fall is the season for the Metal Element. On a physical level it rules our immune system and respiratory system. If there is a weakness in the Metal Element it may show up in the immune system as easy to contract colds and flu. One simple way to bolster your immune system is to keep your head and neck covered when there is a chill in the air. It may seem like a myth that allowing yourself to get cold or going without a jacket can lead to a cold, but in Chinese medicine the area at the base of your neck is called the wind gate area. If cold enters this area with enough frequency and your immune system is weakened, then it can certainly make you a ripe guest for the cold virus to take hold. Next time you head out and there is a chill in the air, grab your jacket, a scarf or hat, it may just save you from contracting that annoying cold that is going around.
Another way to keep the Metal Element organs functioning well is through the Sacred Pathways vinyasa sequence specifically targeted to open and balance the Lung and Large Intestine Meridians. Both these meridians flow through the arms, so poses that emphasize stretching and opening the shoulders, forearms, wrist and hands can be helpful in supporting the energy flow in these meridians thus supporting your immune and respiratory systems. Since I have been practicing these vinyasa flows on nearly a daily basis for 10 years, I rarely get sick. When I do, it typically lasts only a day or two and then it’s gone.
With the right tools and a little bit of effort and awareness, you can stay well and thrive throughout the viral season.
Jan Mead PT LAc is the creator of Sacred Pathways Yoga, a practicing physical therapist and acupuncturist. She is passionate about helping people achieve their wellness goals from the physical level to the spiritual.