Eating Well

Now we've officially moved into Autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere, you can see the nights are starting to cut in earlier and the mornings are darker for much later.
It's also the time when I advise people to eat warmer foods such as soups, stews, and casseroles.
Breakfasts should be alot more wholesome and warmer, no eating fruit and yoghurt for breakfast because it's too damp and cold. Some great ideas for breakfasts include, porridge which we all know about. Rice pudding with a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg... I know people question the rice pudding for breakfast, but homemade rice pudding for breakfast is really nice. In Asia, congee is very popular and its a kind of watery porridge made with rice. So it's very similar to rice pudding.
Bread and butter pudding with raisins, or dried apricots would be a nice breakfast choice. Even adding a few dark chocolate buttons if you are feeling particularly decadent, or your energy needs a boost. I can hear you saying, but these are normally deserts to be eaten after a meal? Usually they are, but who says you can't have them for breakfast instead... ?
Then we have the traditional breakfasts of course, eggs are great, mushrooms, beans, sardines, or toasted avocado on toast. Kippers are an excellent option, or Kedgeree is really nice. There are alot of options for breakfasts rather than the old cereals, fruit, or yoghurt.

Protecting your neck

Autumn is also the time when I start wearing my scarf to protect my neck, and I start nagging my patients to do the same. In Chinese Medicine it's understood that disease is carried into the body by Wind, and an open area to allow that disease to enter is the neck. So if you have been to an acupuncturist, or have a grandmother in your life, you know to always wear a scarf in windy or chilly weather.

So what’s wrong with Wind you say? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wind is one of the Six Evils, or external pathogens (the others being: Cold, Damp, Heat, Fire, and Dryness).
The neck is particularly vulnerable to Wind, and when it's exposed Wind can get into your body where it doesn’t belong. Wind doesn't just come alone, it brings 'friends' with it, usually Heat or Cold. So a Wind-Heat or Wind-Cold invasion is the equivalent of catching a cold or flu! Actually, covid is part of this collective as well. Have you noticed when you first start with cold or flu symptoms, even covid, you have a stiff or aching neck followed by aches, chills/fever, and fatigue. The stiff or aching neck is the first sign of a Wind invasion. Frequent Wind invasions deplete the Lung energy and make you more susceptible to further invasions.
The neck is also particularly vulnerable to the other external pathogen which is Cold. Have you ever slept with a window open, and woken up with a stiff neck? Or been driving with the car window open on a chilly day, and found your neck aches later...? This is why.

Lifestyle

Of course we still have the opportunity to go out for some nice walks and get fresh air, before the daylight becomes much shorter. We need to be supporting both the Lungs and Large Intestine energy which incidentally is associated to Autumn, by doing meditation, Qi Gong, fresh air, even singing helps the Lung energy. Some of the other issues that affect the Lung and Large Intestine energy is grief, sadness or simply not letting go. In Autumn we are saying farewell to the abundance of Summer and preparing for the reflective time that is to come, Autumn connects us with the ability to let go of the past and create the space for the new. So, let's also get those scarves out even on a sunny day, eat lovely warm food, and enjoy the Autumn season.
Heads up to my patients, I want to see those scarves around your necks. 😊
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