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Preventing Colds and Flu (and More)

Autumn is all around us in the northern hemisphere: leaves are falling, light is waning, and harvest celebrations are beginning. And the greatest harvest anyone can have, is health—a larder full of Chi protected against pests, dampness, and rot by a strong immune system.

Autumn and winter is the time to be very supportive and protective of your immune system, and if it’s impaired, time to focus on repairing and bolstering it.

Protecting Against Pests
Pests, like colds and flu, are always trying to get into your “larder” to feed on your energy. When your immune system is weak, they get in and undermine your health. However, you’re very fortunate because your immune system is very resilient, and when properly nourished and maintained, is a state-of-the-evolution security system.

Yes, microbial intruders are always probing, and trying to penetrate, that’s when the teamwork begins: A healthy immune system mobilizes when it senses a threat, and begins to take immediate action: simultaneously, using its “symptom message system”— (Your inner voice says to you: “Hmm, I’m not feeling that well today.”)—your body signals to your mind to support and reinforce it by doing things like:

  • Eating food that heals.
  • Staying warm, dry, and out of drafty places.
  • Getting adequate rest.
  • Doing what’s necessary to minimize persistent patterns of stress in your life.
  • Becoming aware that building and maintaining a strong immune system is a year-round project.
  • IMPORTANT: Because of the hyper-busy lives we lead, which too often distract us to the point of failing to act in time, we run the risk of “missing the message” to send in reinforcements, and may fall ill. So pay attention to how you’re feeling, and act decisively.

    How To Protect and Strengthen Your Lungs In Autumn

    Japanese woodblock print of forest and mountains

    Dancing gold
    The forest rustles
    Alive with surrendering leaves
    — Lao Xian

    Fall is the time of year when the Lungs and immune system are working hard to help your body adapt to the changing weather.

    Working together, your body’s organs are a networked system that receives, transforms and transmits energy. A balanced system is a healthy system, and in Autumn, you want to make sure that your Lungs get tuned-up. Oriental Medicine does that.

    Lungs Are Most Sensitive In Autumn

    The Lungs are the focal point of your body’s energy network in Autumn. So now is the time to do some very simple things that will protect your Lungs from the forces that cause cold and flu, by preparing them to deal with the dampness and cold that come with Autumn and Winter.

    Five Ways To PROTECT Your Lungs

    • Use a scarf or collar to cover the front and back of your neck when you go outside.
    • Avoid drafts and wind.
    • Wear a dust mask, or other cover, when working around dust, spores or other airborne contaminants.
    • Use Chinese medical herb formulas, or other internal protection, to guard against colds, flu and other contagious illnesses.
    • Be mindful of any intuitive insights you may have regarding your health.

    Five Ways To STRENGTHEN Your Lungs

    • Eat foods that nourish the Lungs. These include: daikon radish, lotus root, maiitake mushrooms, and Chinese herb formulas.
    • Get enough sleep.
    • Reduce and keep stress low. (Easier said than done ... but doable.)
    • Pace yourself. Make sure to save some of your energy.
    • Begin developing—or maintain—an inner practice  like meditation or deep breathing to help your body relax and rejuvenate.

    So, as the days continue to shorten and the nights get longer, remember to slow down to match the deepening  of the seasonal energy. 

    Conserve and enjoy!

    Weathering The Seasons: Late Summer—Early Fall

    It’s important to help your body adapt as seasonal conditions change throughout the year. Oriental Medicine knows how to do that.

    We know about ‘seasonal energy’ from a common-sense point of view.

    We know when to take out and put away our seasonal clothing. We know about ‘spring cleaning.’ We know about ‘winterizing’ our homes and cars. But we don’t normally connect our body’s needs to the season, except when it gets too hot or too cold.

    By applying commonsense things you already know about the seasons to your health, you may be surprised by how much more energy you’ll have year round, while greatly reducing your vulnerability to colds, flu and other seasonal discomforts.

    Your Body In Autumn

    Of all the seasonal changes of the year, the change from Summer to Autumn is the most complex, because there are more energy interactions occurring than usual.

    Fall is primarily the time to strengthen the Lungs in preparation for Winter.

    Rebuilding Heart and Kidney energy is also important because their energy gets depleted over the course of the Summer. Usually the hottest weather is where the challenges are the greatest to the Heart and Kidneys.

    So to the extent you’ve experienced very hot weather over the Summer, to that extent your Heart and Kidney energy has been depleted and needs to be replenished.

    In addition to these key organs, the Digestive system also needs support as we move into Fall.

    While the Digestive system generally needs a boost at the end of each season, this is especially important in Autumn because your body needs to be as able as possible to digest and absorb nutrients as it prepares for Winter. 

    Oriental Medicine helps your body weather seasonal challenges to your health.

    It’s Time to Get Antsy

    Summer is the time to get in touch with your ‘Inner Ant’ and start strengthening your Lungs and Immune System. Don’t get caught in the cold like Grasshopper!

    (Read about The Ant and the Grasshopper.)


    For Everything There Is A Season

    ♫ ♪♩... A time to build ... and a time to rebuild ... your body’s organs ... season-by-season …. as your life continues to ... turn … turn … turn … turn … This is the season to learn … learn … learn … learn … that which helps you stay healthy ... and that which is best to be avoided ... ♫ ♪♩ (Apologies to Pete Seeger)


    You know your car needs periodic maintenance … make sure to schedule a tuneup for your body too.


    Healthy Insights

    If HEALTH were measured in dollars it would be easy to see when you’re spending too much. Conscious living pays dividends.

    Oriental Medicine rebuilds energy used up by the end of a season & prepares your body for next season—while keeping you balanced today.

    It’s important to help your body adapt as seasonal conditions change throughout the year. Oriental Medicine knows how to do that.

    Late-Summer (Earth energy) affects Digestion. As the Harvest unfolds the body wants to gain weight & nutrients to prepare for Winter.

    Health is the first wealth ~ Emerson

    Get daily tips and inspiration about how to Stay Healthy ... the Oriental Medicine Way by visiting BIOM on Facebook.


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    IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.