Traditional Chinese Medicine is a time-honored system based on keen observation of the cycles of nature and their relationship to the human being. Each major organ system is associated with a time of year, an energy transformation, and a function which extends beyond physiology into the domain of personal empowerment. It turns out, even particular foods can support or nurture healthy energetic function of specific organs. A walk in the woods in the fall will teach you much about the energetics of that quality called “Metal” in the Chinese system. As you walk and breathe on a sojourn through space and time, you will enhance your immune system with all kinds of helpful bacteria, a gift of the forest biome.

The fall season is associated with the lung, large intestine, the immune system, and in the head, the sinuses. If we look at what nature is doing in the fall we see a pattern: everything which is no longer useful is falling away. Grief, the emotion associated with lung, can be a natural part of letting go and moving into clarity. Yes, the space in the forest is opening. Sometimes storms will come and blow dead branches off the trees, yet immune-enhancing varieties of mushrooms grow on rotting wood as an offering of the season. Seeds form their armor to protect the life inside. They say, “Save some of what you make.”  Nature’s metaphors are happening inside us on many levels, giving us a kind of guidance as to how to adjust to change.

The empowerment function of the lung and autumn energy is immunity, protection, and the instinct to enhance life. There is a discipline associated with making healthy choices and orderly rhythms. Aligning with the right order of life is affirmed through the breath, rhythm, and movement; all our joints and the instinct to move are ruled by lung energy. Autumn, the season of metal, is the best time to enhance these qualities in our personal life, because nature is doing the same.

The sinuses are the higher octave of the lungs, creating space in our head. We all know how disorienting a head cold can be. It is as if our subtle sense of direction, our compass, is jammed. All that space (metal) is filled up. Perhaps our body is reminding us to welcome the energy of the fall and clear out any thoughts that no longer serve our deeper calling.

First, the space must be cleared. Use a neti pot wash, and then try a few sprays of RESTORE Sinus Spray™. For food, try ginger, wasabi, horseradish, and daikon; they are examples of foods that support strong metal, being pungent, clearing, and often white. Mushrooms that grow on tree wood have the strongest immune-enhancing qualities: shitake, maitake, and oyster mushrooms, for example. Earthy golden squashes and yams support metal and keep us grounded. Healing soups are great at this time of year.

When your passages are clear, breathe through your nose as much as possible. Nose breathing improves oral health, nitric oxide metabolism, immune function, and oxygen uptake. We are designed to improve our health with every breath, but it must be through the nose!

Working with the transformations of nature, moving into the space and time of the season, is like riding a wave. Time and change are on your side.

— William Vitalis is Director of Esoteric Sciences for Biomic Sciences, LLC, Makers of RESTORE. He shares a passion for the science of medicinal movement, known as QiGong, with many herons, egrets, big cats, and monkeys, among others.