Falling Into Autumn

Autumn begins the Yin cycle of the year and has an energy all its own.

The days are getting shorter, and it’s the beginning of the yin cycle, which means less daylight and cooler weather. We tend to become a bit more serious as we prepare for the change in climate and retrieve our warmer clothing.

It is the time of the Metal element, which encompasses organization, order, and setting of limits and boundaries. As summer comes to a close, preparation begins for the cooler months ahead. It is a time of introspection, as we begin to slip deeper into ourselves. Even in a warmer region such as Florida, our internal awareness still works in the same way.


Autumn and the Metal element relate to the lungs, which are associated with the emotion of grief and letting go. Some people find it difficult to let go of the summer, others look forward to the drop in temperature and the colorful foliage of the leaves. The holidays are quickly approaching, which for some tend to bring up old memories and family issues. Acupuncture can assist with such seasonal transitions when things feel out of balance. As the nights become longer, traditional Chinese health care advises an earlier bedtime and rising with the sun. Morning tai chi or chi gong are both excellent ways to start the day, as they work directly on the lungs through the breath.

It’s All About the Qi

The lungs are the uppermost organs of the body and are susceptible to wind, dryness and cold. When temperature changes happen this time of year, the immune system may become stressed, which creates an opening for colds, bronchitis, sinus problems, sore throats, and fever. The lungs circulate the wei qi, our protective defense from such illness, so they need to remain strong in order to keep pathogens at bay. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs work very well for the preparation of autumn and winter by strengthening the lungs and the immunity. Vitamin B injections are another great way to keep the body strong.