Surviving the Fall: 5 Things A TCM Doctor Will Not Do Without
What a year 2020 has been! And it is not even over! As we move into the fall there are some things I’m sure to use regularly, to help maintain my overall health. Organ health in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is influenced by the seasons. During the fall, the lungs are the organs mostly affected by the weather as the air becomes cooler and drier. Here are a few simple recommendations to help maintain lung health as we enjoy the beauty of fall and prepare for winter 2020.
1. Use A Humidifier
As I live in a dry city, I use my humidifier almost every day. During the fall and winter months however, I depend on my humidifier even more. I usually use it every night during these seasons, to ward off dry coughs and any irritation the dryness of the season may create in my nose and throat.
2. Drink Warm Water
We are taught in TCM to live according to the seasons if we want to have good health. To balance the coolness and dryness of autumn I replace the cooler drinks I normally consume during summer with warmer fluids. Clean warm water or teas are some of the best liquids we
can drink to stay hydrated during the cooler months.
3. Stock up on a few Pears
In Traditional Chinese Medicine pears are commonly used to fortify lung health. Chinese pears are particularly useful for dry coughs. Known as the ‘golden fruit’ for a beautiful voice, pears are normally boiled with a little sugar or honey when used to soothe a sore throat or dry cough.
4. Have a bit of Raw Honey
Honey is renowned for its antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In Traditional Chinese Medicine honey is a commonly used medicinal food, as it boosts energy, moistens the body, and supplements blood. Commonly used for sore throats, adding honey to warm water or tea is a popular but simple way to soothe mild to moderate throat inflammation. Throat inflammation happens easily in the dryer months. Studies are finding raw honey is more nutritious than regular honey.
5. Practice Pranayama
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that means breath exercises. I practice pranayama daily;
pranayama exercises strengthen the lungs and affect our mental and emotional health. Belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing is an exercise that strengthens the primary muscle of respiration- the diaphragm. To practice belly breathing feel the belly expanding on inhales and moving towards the spine on exhales. Try belly breathing for a few minutes every day, to start improving lung function.