Balancing with the Seasons

When we strive to live in balance with seasonal energetics, there is a source of self-empowerment at our fingertips. It strengthens the body and deepens the connection to its surroundings to harmonize with the seasons.

When lifestyle habits are not in balance with the seasonal energetic, it can affect personal health in the seasons to come. For example: overworking (especially in the winter, when we need to rest and rebuild) exhausts the energy and can make a person vulnerable to sickness in the following seasons. Often the ailment will stem from the individual’s constitutional weakness (ex: digestive, immunity, etc.). A primary way to prevent illness is through strengthening the body with food, herbal medicine, and acupuncture. These methods can resolve an illness pattern, such as allergies, chronic colds, and more.

The seasonal energetics, including diet and lifestyle suggestions, are:

Spring:

  • Wood Element
  • Consume more green foods
  • Eat lighter meals (steamed vegetables, etc.)
  • Slow down and breathe while eating
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Do regular vigorous exercise
  • Avoid caffeine, drugs, stimulants, and fried foods.

Summer

  • Fire Element
  • Red foods: such as berries  (such as blackberries, raspberries, and Hawthorne berry: all are flavonoid-rich foods that benefit the blood vessels) and red fruits.
  • Consume blood-building foods and teas: Nettles, etc.
  • Try to drink teas that are cooling in nature: such as peppermint, hibiscus, green tea, etc.
  • Eat light foods
  • Loosen up: enjoy playing, relish in your relationships, and take a vacation
  • Avoid eating large or heavy meals, excessive meats, spicy food, and greasy food

Late Summer and or transition between seasons

  • Earth Element
  • Orange and yellow foods: squash, yams, cantaloupe, etc.
  • Eat bland yet tasty and nourishing foods
  • Eat warm-cooked meals
  • Nourish your body, home, and cultivate family/ community
  • Avoid complicated meals
  • Avoid cold and raw foods and drinks

Fall

  • Metal Element
  • White foods: garlic (good for immunity), onion, etc.
  • Build immunity and lung strength
  • Eat warm-cooked meals: baked foods and soups are great
  • Breathwork and walking (especially up steep hills) are beneficial for strengthening the lung energy
  • Let go of what you no longer need (emotionally, physically, and emotionally)
  • Avoid cold and raw foods and drinks (all year, but especially in the fall and winter)

Winter

  • Water Element
  • Black foods: black beans, black sesame seeds, etc
  • Warming tea and foods: ginger tea, black tea, lamb, etc
  • Eat nourishing and warming meals: baked foods and soups, etc
  • Eat meals more slowly.
  • Cultivate stillness: rest, meditate, etc.
  • Avoid cold and raw foods and drinks (all year, but especially in the fall and winter).

 

Although this is just a simple outline, it is the beginning of understanding. These seasonal energetics are a useful guide. Through observing a season’s energetics and by simultaneously listening to the body’s needs, a person learns to care for their bodies, thus preventing illness, living healthy and in balance.

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