"In the three months of Autumn all things in nature reach their full maturity. The grains ripen and harvesting occurs. The heavenly energy cools, as does the weather. The wind begins to stir. This is the changing or pivoting point when the yang, or active phase,turns to its opposite, the yin, or passive, phase. One should retire with the sunset and arise with the dawn. Just as the weather in autumn turns harsh, so does the emotional climate. It is therefore important to remain calm and peaceful, refraining from depression so that one can make the transition to winter smoothly. This is the time to gather ones spirit and energy, be more focused,and not allow desires to run wild. One must keep the lung energy free full, clean, and quiet. This means practicing breathing exercises to enhance lung Qi. Also, one should refrain from smoking and grief, the emotion of lung. this will prevent kidney or digestive problems in the winter. If this natural order is violated, damage will occur to the lungs, resulting in diarrhea with undigested food particles in the winter. This compromises the body's ability to store in winter".-Huangdi Neijing Suwen
According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) in five element theory the lungs and large intestine are related to the metal element. In the autumn, which is the season that the metal element relates to, we return to our roots. The autumn is a time to leave the frantic activity of the full yang energy of summer and start to slow things down and look inward for our nourishment.
The emotion related to the lungs and large intestine in the fall season is sadness and grief. When these emotions are out of balance and reside in the lungs we may have difficulty in breathing or bowel problems.
Each organ can be accessed at a certain time of day most effectively. The lungs are most active in the early morning from 3-5am and the Large intestine is most accessible from 5-7am. If we exercise and have proper elimination during the early morning hours, we can relieve our body's of toxins from the air we breathe and the food we eat.
Chinese philosophy theorizes that the lungs inhale the energy from the air they breathe which is then spread throughout the body in order to nourish the tissues and promote physiological processes. They act as the holding tanks for the energy they receive from the outside environment into our bodies. They also have the job of Governing the breath, producing and dispersing defensive qi (wei Qi) which is our immune system that acts like a barrier that protects the body from external climatic factors such as wind, cold, damp, so we can't be harmed by pathogenic factors.
Both the lung and large intestine are responsible for elimination. The lungs move and transform water in the body, they liquefy water vapor, moving it down to the kidneys, and throughout the body, to be eliminated through the skin pores. The Large Intestine absorbs water through the walls of the colon, which forms, stores, and eliminates the toxic by-products of the food we eat in the form of feces. Before elimination the Large Intestine absorbs nutrients and minerals and grows beneficial bacteria which helps break down food and absorb vitamins. If the Large Intestine is not working well, the entire system is flooded with toxins which results in our feeling out of sorts and unbalanced.
Eating more vegetables, fiber, and herbs and removing cold foods and soft drinks from your diet will nurture your nature in the Autumn and prepare you for the colder months of Fall and Winter.