Time to Winterize Our Bodies~
Karen Effenberger, Indianapolis
It’s Autumn and a time to winterize our bodies. We winterize our houses by putting up storm windows and doors and servicing the furnace so we stay warm in the winter. We winterize our cars by checking tires, brakes, batteries and belts to prevent getting stuck in cold weather. What do we do to winterize our bodies?
Most people hope and pray they don’t get the flu. I know some people just assume getting sick is just what comes with winter. I think we can be proactive and winterize our bodies to minimize the potential of getting a cold or the flu. According to body biorhythms and Chinese medicine, each organ in your body is associated with a season. Autumn is associated with the lungs and large intestine. So Autumn is the time to clean out and support the lungs and large intestine.
When your lungs aren’t functioning properly, your body accumulates heat, creating other health issues resulting in poor circulation, night sweats, excessive perspiration and fatigue and listlessness. Approximately, 1 out of 3 people struggle with at least one of the common chronic respiratory diseases, sinusitis, allergies, bronchitis and asthma. Both Chinese and western medicine have linked skin problems to the lungs, particularly, rashes, dry, blotchy skin, chapped lips, cracked nails, acne and psoriasis.
When do most people have these problems? Yes, in the winter!!
Equally important to your health and detoxification process are your large intestines, which also need special attention during Autumn. The main function of your large intestine is to gather your body’s putrefied toxins and eliminate them so the entire body can work without undue stress.
So how do you support the lungs and large intestine?
Fenugreek tea is the Autumn herbal tea of choice because it is effective as a lubricant; it softens and dissolves mucus in the lungs and moistens the large intestinal tract to prevent constipation. Mullein and lobelia have long been associated with pulmonary problems. Mullein is an expectorant and lobelia is a bronchial dilator and antispasmodic useful for lung congestion and asthma.
Autumn spices need to be included in your diet. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are aromatic and help prevent indigestion and gas. Now is the time to exchange your fresh squeezed lemon juice for organic unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is warming to the body, where as lemon juice is cooling. Use apple cider vinegar on vegetables and salads and in salad dressings. The Autumn tea, herbs and spices support intestinal and respiratory function and alleviate dampness.
Autumn is a great time to add more fiber to your diet in the form of vegetables and fruits, psyllium or flaxseed meal. Fiber helps clean the intestinal walls.
There are also many herbal cleanse products on the market today. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day and consuming essential fatty acids in the form of olive oil and fish oils will also support intestinal health. Stress and sugar can cause problems for the large intestines, in the form of constipation or diarrhea. Eliminating processed sugars and substituting with fruit and high fiber alternatives (whole grains) supports intestinal health. De-stressing with regular exercise and meditation will support respiratory and intestinal health.
Letting go of toxins is not only a physical process. In order to let go of the physical, it may also be necessary to let go of the emotional, mental or spiritual issues associated with the accumulating toxins. Emotions and issues associated with the lungs are grief, sadness, yearning, cloudy thinking and anguish. Emotions and issues associated with the large intestine are dogmatically positioned (stubborn), crying, compelled to neatness, and defensiveness. Now is the time to take a personal inventory of emotions and issues that are bothering you.
To let go:
~ Develop a ritual to help let go of stuck emotions and issues.
~ Make sure you are getting regular exercise to move emotions
~ Meditate to create a peaceful state of mind
~ Counseling or therapy may be needed
~ Therapeutic message and energy work can help release issues in the tissues.
Know that loving yourself and forgiving yourself and others are the keys to letting go and healing.
I hope you all enjoy the cooler temperatures, the colorful trees and all the sites and smells of Autumn. Just as nature is getting ready for winter, so must we. Make a commitment to take an active and proactive approach to readying your mind and body for winter.
If I can be of any help, please call or email. I do phone consultations as well as office visits.