fbpx

Try as we might, it’s tough to avoid Fall illnesses, and this year looks like it will be tougher than ever with the latest Covid variant, in addition to the seasonal flu. Here is an East-Asian inspired immune support guide to keeping healthy this season.

Traditional Chinese perspective has it that the changing of the seasons is a challenging  time to stay healthy. Each of the four seasons has a correlating element, and our bodies are sensitive to the rhythms of nature as well. Moving from summer (fire – heart) into fall (metal – lungs) we must naturally move away from the heat and joy of the sunny months, toward a more introspective, (appropriately) damp, and organized autumn. In the Western world, we often have trouble slowing down. It’s this constant grind that often disrupts how the elements are reflected in our bodies and results in feeling lousy.   

As the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, our activities and patterns change with them. We often spend less time outdoors, and sometimes are less physically active. These changes can contribute to the higher rates of illness during this season, so it’s essential to prioritize our health and well-being at this time of year. 

Let’s dive into some tips to help keep you feeling your best this fall.

          Nutrition

Eating seasonally and locally is a fundamental principle of holistic health. As fall arrives, our bodies naturally crave warmer, grounding foods. Opt for a diet rich in seasonal and local produce in your region (in the Pacific Northwest, that means foods like pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apples, and hearty greens). These foods will not only be more fresh and nutrient dense as a result, they are packed with antioxidants that support your immune system, improve digestion, and provide sustainable energy. And, of course, the more local, the lighter the footprint for our earth’s health as well. 

Support a healthy gut by eating foods rich in probiotic and prebiotics. Don’t be fooled, probiotics are not only found in a pill – but also in foods like yogurt, kefir, live culture sauerkraut, pickles, and even kombucha. Prebiotic rich foods help lay the foundation for a healthy microbial community to flourish, and include root vegetables like onions, garlic, and potatoes, as well as greens and fiber rich fruits, grains, and legumes. Eating a whole foods diet with a mix of colorful fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure you are getting plenty of pre-biotics. 

           Holistic Healing Modalities

Explore holistic healing modalities like acupuncture, massage, and traditional East Asian medicine to maintain your well-being during the fall season. These practices focus on balancing the body’s energy and can help alleviate various health issues.

Bodywork in the form of acupuncture and massage can support wellness in times of seasonal transition by balancing the energies via  channels called meridians. If you’ve ever been drawn to massage a tender acupressure point, you know intuitively the power of the hands-on remedy! 

Trust us, you will feel the difference that a commitment to care makes. Book a session here to experience it yourself!

          Holistic Healing Modalities

Herbal medicine can be a valuable tool in fortifying your immune system during the fall months. Some beneficial herbs for immune support include:

  • Echinacea: Known for its immune-boosting properties, echinacea can help ward off common colds and flu.
  • Elderberry: Elderberry syrup or tinctures can provide powerful antioxidants and immune-boosting benefits.
  • Astragalus: This adaptogenic herb can help increase resilience to stress and support overall immune health.
  • Ginger: Incorporate ginger into your diet or enjoy it as a tea to help with digestion and reduce inflammation.

Remember to consult with a qualified herbalist or healthcare practitioner before adding new herbs to your regimen, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions or are taking medications.

,             Mind-Body Connection 

Fall is an excellent time to reconnect with yourself and focus on mental and emotional well-being. Holistic health emphasizes the importance of the mind-body connection. Practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress, enhance mood, and promote overall balance.

The mind-body connection is an often underestimated aspect of immunity but has a profound impact on health via stress hormones like cortisol, which can negatively affect your overall immunity. So stay calm, and schedule time for rest and relaxation during times of seasonal transition.

             Seasonal Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is another holistic approach that aligns with the changing seasons and ties perfectly into supporting your mind-body connection. As fall sets in, consider using essential oils like lavender, cedarwood, and frankincense to create a warm and calming atmosphere in your home. These scents can help alleviate stress, improve sleep quality, and boost overall emotional well-being.

             Exercise

Don’t let the cooler weather deter you from outdoor activities. Spending time in nature can have a profound impact on your overall health. Go for brisk walks, hike through colorful forests, or get out into the garden!  Pilates offers powerful benefits, and can be a great way to get exercise in any season, as well as to get the mind-body connection – two in one! Better yet, practice with a friend and double the benefit as well as the fun.

              Conclusion

Fall is a time of transformation and a chance to nurture your body, mind, and spirit through holistic health principles and herbal medicine. By prioritizing seasonal nutrition, immune support, the mind-body connection, aromatherapy, hydration, and holistic healing modalities, you can embrace the season and keep healthy this fall. Remember that individual needs may vary, so it’s always advisable to consult with healthcare professionals and holistic practitioners for personalized guidance on your wellness journey.

 

Don’t forget, fall is a time to start slowing down so don’t fall into the common trap of overscheduling yourself. Stay healthy friends!

Our acupuncturist and herbalist, Ellisia Grove, LAc is in the office on Wednesdays and Thursdays. She is also available for virtual consultations, and you can schedule in person appointments with her here. If you are interested in seeing if your visit may be covered by insurance, you can enter your email to receive a free benefit check here.