Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Welcome to the first day of Fall, signified by the Autumnal Equinox. After an unusually hot summer in Seattle, September has brought a change in temperature, gradual increase in rainfall, and the arrival of wind. While many delight in the change of season, it often brings with it the onset of cold and flu season. Keeping our immune system (defensive “wei qi” in Chinese medicine) strong helps ease the transition between seasons. Here are five simple tips for strengthening your immune system to stay healthy and strong this fall.
1. Wear a Scarf
From a Chinese medicine perspective wind is considered a factor that affects our defense system. Chinese medicine believes we are most susceptible to wind invading the area at the nape of the neck. Wearing a scarf can help protect this area and prevent the invasion of wind that makes us more susceptible to illness. Regardless of your gender, you can choose to wear a scarf in a way that is fun, fashionable, and supports your health!
2. Dress in Layers
Most of us living in the Pacific Northwest pride ourselves on being experts at layering – a by-product of the weather here in PNW. Sometimes resistance to letting go of summer is reflected in the delayed choice to start wearing adequate layers. The ‘how’ is not as important here as the ‘when’. Paying attention to staying warm and protected from damp and wind can ease the transition at this time of year. Choosing a jacket that helps protect against the cold, damp, and wind is a health choice. Choosing to wear it sooner rather than later is also a health choice. Adding a hat on extra windy days is also a consideration.
3. Eat Fruits and Vegetables that Are in Season
While supermarkets offer most fruit and vegetables year round, choosing what is in season supports our body in aligning with the changes of the season. A visit to your local farmer’s market can be a great way to remember and reconnect with what is in season as well as get ideas of how to prepare different dishes.
4. Drink Room Temperature or Warm Water
Chinese medicine focuses on helping the body maintain balance. Room temperature water tends to be easier for the body as less energy is required during metabolism to warm the water to body temperature. While this is true year round, it is particularly beneficial to implement with the change of season and arrival of cooler temperatures. Consider saving ice for hot summer-like days opting for room temperature water year round. Warm or hot water can be a great source of comfort during the change in seasons. Yes… tea and coffee count too!
5. Try Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are wonderful options for preventative care year round, but especially during the change in season. Whether you want to simply boost your immune system, ensure you are sleeping better, reduce stress, or ease symptoms associated with allergies, Chinese medicine can help.
If you’d like more information about how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can support you, contact a practitioner at Goodmedizen. We can also help you bounce back after ‘catching a cold’ or in overcoming other upper respiratory conditions such as a general cough, bronchitis or pneumonia.
Wishing you a wonderful and healthy Fall!