Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Q's for Dr. Duckworth: Autumn's Seasonal Health Changes

Dr. Duckworth,

You have spoken in the past of seasonal changes affecting health. I am interested in knowing when the next (fall) shift is coming and what types of heath issues might be attached to this season’s changes? Thanks. Morris


Hi Morris

A week or so ago, it was about 100 degrees outside and someone noted that there was a feeling of autumn “in the air.” Very observant of that young man; he was correct, there was an energetic shift. Fall is far more than the space between Summer and Winter. It’s energetic manifestation is cooling and it can be sensed in August/Sept, before Fall weather actually sets in.

It is the space of growth completion, establishing order and preparing the body energetically for the journey inward that accompanies Winter.

Energetically, this is the season of the E dimension, the rhythmic order of the unfolding of the annual life cycle, the time and place of the development of our inner judgment. This is the energy of individuation, the development of the individual. It is of the rhythmic order leading to the harvest. At the psychic level, it is the space of systemic harmony. In traditional acupuncture, this aspect is identified as the ‘Metal’ element and is associated with the Lung / Large Intestine Meridian. When the E dimension is in a state of balance, ‘free will’ occurs; when there is a deficiency of E energy, then one becomes ‘enslaved’ to the thoughts and will of others; when there is an excess of E energy, one will suffer from an inaccurate sense of accomplishment. Energetically, balance leads to growth of vegetation and beings; deficiency defeats growth, stagnation occurs; excess quickens growth – veggies bolt, beings get restless.

Environmentally, E dimension is cooling, therefore, deficiency of E (Fall) shows out as scorching heat that can lead to shortness of breath, colds, and fatigue in upper limbs. Excess of E can lead to temporary deafness, red & painful eyes and sty’s. General toxicity shows as chest congestion, hemorrhoids, anguish, helplessness, sinus issues, bowel difficulties.

E dimension’s function is rhythmic order. Excessive (over-abundance of E Qi) can show as rapid & deep breath, cracked lips, non-productive cough; dry rough skin. Deficiency can show as cold hands & feet, loose stools, shallow respiration, never thirsty, cramps. Excess of energy may result in muscle knots.

Signs & symptoms of E dimension imbalance: Excretion- mucus, sound- whimpering, emotion – sorrow Sense of smell –strong or weak??

Dream-state diagnosis: Excessive - fright, flying/soaring thru the air. Deficiency -white objects in dream, cruel killing, war/battles. Reversal happens thru the Yang aspect of E dimension and the dreams are of fields and rural landscapes.

Diet will need to change. If you are energetically aligned with your environment, you will begin to crave potatoes and other root crops, perhaps more meat. You will start losing interest in very sweet foods & drinks. Each season has its own flavor, this is the time of pungent/spicy spices and foods with curry, red & green chile, pepper, garlic and ginger - in moderation. Pungent taste has the effect of dispersing. In excess, it can hurt the lungs and the large intestine; not enough can harm the lungs and large intestine. Excess can be modified with the bitter taste like dark greens. Rice, barley and oats are good grains for this season. To discharge toxicity, eat green peas, vinegar, lemon, tomato and radish, drink horehound tea and slippery elm tea. Best cooking method for this time of year, baking. Avoid: cold food & drink, cool clothing and mucus forming foods, especially dairy.

So, Morris, this is a brief answer to your question. I hope it helps.

Your mantra for the season: Be reserved, act from instinct, eat a peach.

Have a wonderful Autumn

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