For background information on the 5 Elements, please read the tabs on our website under Health called Five Element Acupuncture and The Elements
I don't know about you but lately I feel like I'm surrounded by death and dying. Funerals, sick friends and family, memories of people and animals who have passed, and top that off with darkness by 5:00PM...well that could be a formula for depression. If you don't understand the influence of the Metal element.
As previous members have learned, each season belongs to an element and each element brings us a gift and a challenge. Fall belongs to the Metal element in 5 Element Acupuncture and for many this time of year is especially challenging.
Let's discuss the challenges first as I'm guessing many of you are feeling this influence. Physically the challenges target the Lung and the Large Intestine as these are the organ systems that belong to the Metal element. Respiratory issues and illnesses, allergies spiking, decreased immune system, and irregular or inconsistent bowel movements can all be related to the Metal element. I can't count the number of people who come through my office after going through the dying process with someone they love who have a cough, a respiratory illness, or some compromised Lung issue.
The Metal element's challenge emotionally is grief, loss, feeling of disconnection, isolation, hoarding or having trouble letting go of material items, and frankly, a shitty attitude. Got any of these? Don't worry there's a way to turn it all around...
The gifts of the Metal element are plentiful and once we realize the seasonal impact we can focus on the positive.
The Metal element asks us to let go of what doesn't serve us anymore. Remembering the beauty of the Fall trees is a perfect example. The trees were decked to their finest yet they let the leaves go; this is because the leaves no longer serve a purpose to the life of the tree. In order for the tree to thrive, it must let go of the leaves and allow them to compost into the earth which then continues to feed the tree the nutrients it needs to live. This is a time of year to ask yourself if you are holding onto anything that no longer serves your higher purpose. For some people these things are material items that are taking up space and no longer used; for others it's habits, foods, relationships, or feelings like worry and fear. The Metal element asks us to recognize our own value and worth and release these things.
The Metal element asks us to believe in something bigger than us. Whether you believe in God, angels, heaven, the universe, the spirits...it's the idea that we are not here alone in struggles that come up. There is a power greater than us that is watching over and supporting us as we move through this life. That connection, some may call it faith, aids our spirit in feeling soothed during darker times.
The Metal element asks us to become inspired. Inspiration, the ability of the Lung's to inhale. How many of us actually take time to breathe consciously? The Metal element asks us to tune into our breath. Take some time during the day to inhale as deeply as you can, hold for 5 seconds, and exhale as much as you can. Imagine breathing in crystal clear clean air and exhaling the emotional smog of the day.
This is a gorgeous time of year to really look at ourselves and our life and begin stripping away what isn't working and get excited about all life's possibilities. The Metal element asks that we stand with value, worth and self-respect, while allowing the extraneous to fall away like the leaves off the trees each year.
Melissa Maki, LAc, AP, DOM