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How to Avoid Getting Sick This Autumn
October 1, 2015
The weather is starting to shift and several of the people I help have come in coughing, with chest pain, or with burning tight throats. Yuck! Nobody wants to get sick, but these seasonal transitions often take us by surprise.
In the Chinese Medicine calendar, we’re moving from heavy, sweaty, damp humidity (the Earth season)--remember that? it may seem like years ago but was just a few weeks ago!--to the Metal season, which is dry, dry, dry. The plants are starting to constrict, leaves are losing their color, and the air is more crisp (meaning way less wet) than it was not so long ago.
How can you help your body adapt to these changes?
Here are three simple tips that will help you avoid getting sick, or to help you bounce back more quickly.
1. DRINK WATER.
This is a boring strategy, right? You might be thinking you already drink water, but because it’s not as hot outside, some of us stop slurping those cool beverages and suddenly the air is much drier and you need that extra fluid. So stay hydrated to help your body adapt to the dryness. Watch out for caffeine intake too. Caffeine is ok but in these drier days that lovely cup of tea can really leave you parched.
2. WEAR A SCARF.
Say what?!?! Pathogens are carried around by the wind, in the Chinese classics, and enter your body through the nose or the mouth or the nape of the neck (a vulnerable area in Chinese Medicine). So keeping your neck covered will help keep the chill out of your bones, and will cut down your chances of catching that cold, especially in these gusty days.
3. SWITCH INTO AUTUMN EATING.
Because the season is dry dry dry, you want to balance that dryness with “moistening” foods like tofu, spinach, apples, pears, seaweed, mushrooms, pine nuts, peanuts, milk, clams, eggs, crab, or pork. “Moistening” is probably not a category that’s intuitive to you, but close your eyes and imagine biting down into an apple and think about the sweet, juicy crunch. And also remember that the days are getting colder. You’ll want to start cooking soups and stews and start eating less raw foods (like those cold salads to balance out the hot days) in general.
Have you tried any of these in the past? Do you have your own Autumn health tips? I would love to hear from you. Click below to leave a comment.