Hello to you!
I really do not need to tell you why we should be focusing some self care time on our Lungs this season. Here is some Lung theory, some Lung ‘dos’ and some Lung ‘don’ts’:
First, the (Chinese) theory…
Five Element acupuncture theory links Autumn to the organs of Lung and Large Intestine (they always work in pairs, think Yin and Yang). It suggests that these organs come into their peak energetic time during this period. The super-powers of the Lungs and Large Intestines are ‘structure and boundaries’. Yes, fifteen years ago that was meaningless to me too!
The idea here is that each internal organ has some ‘personality’ and these personalities make up a pretty cool team that works to manage our mental, emotional, spiritual, energetic and physical health. Lung and Large Intestine are the office managers that maintain order, respect, quality. They will fire you if you misbehave and raise an eyebrow if you are caught smoking in the loo. They command our respect, they keep us precise, they inspire our brilliance, they give us value and routine. Out of balance, they can make us sloppy and unkempt or rigid and over bearing.
Nice theory, so how do we translate that into practice that supports our lungs specifically.
Think about these dos…
Breathe the best quality air you can. That is outside, in a garden or in a field or near plants, trees, grasses and nature. If your garden is next to the A1 you might need to have a rethink and take your lungs somewhere else for some slow, restful, deep breaths.
Or, get yourself sorted with an air purifier. These have plummeted in price lately and I bought an excellent one for the clinic for below £150.
Or, get some house plants. They will help clean the air. Please learn how to look after those plants as rotting plant matter and soggy old compost is going to encourage mould. Same goes with cut flowers, no stinking water or mouldering stems. Not cool for Lungs!
Moisturise your Lungs. Simple. Just drink some more water. On waking you should be drinking a glass of water to clear those nightime toxins away. Please don’t start with me that you don’t like water! I’m over listening to grown adults complaining about drinking water. It’s tasteless! Let’s move on.
Humidify your air. Do some slow breathing exercises in the shower and show those Lungs your respect. Open windows when the heating is on. We need to be careful that by humidifying our air it doesn’t cause damp. By damp I mean stagnant old water lying around without air flow. If you are drying clothes inside now, open a window.
Consider using the Lung loving herb Mullein. It grows here in the UK, I’ve even had one growing outside the back door at one point. It looks like a furry foxglove, tall and spire like, with small yellow flowers. Now, I am no herbalist, but medicinal plants fascinate me. You need to do your own homework here. If you have medications or ailments you must be your own health detective. Herbs are not for everyone. If you deem Mullein suitable you can buy tinctures or teas. Please read the instructions and educate yourself. Susan Weed on Youtube is a wealth of Mullein info as is @she_is_of_the_woods on instagram.
Try stretching. This opens the Lungs and enables clean air in. It also counters our habit of shallow breathing. On the energetic level, it opens us up for inspiration and respiration. It can also be used as a morning ritual that ‘team’ Lung will love.
Consider doing some office management yourself. Who or What needs firing right now? Who isn’t pulling their weight, what ideas or items aren’t contributing to you. CUT. THEM. OUT. (or communicate kindly that change is required). Losing losers in your life is self care 101. You can do it kindly, no drama, it doesn’t need to be a blood bath. Try filling a charity bag with junk that’s in your way.
Have a think about what you consume. Cows milk is known to promote phlegm. Mix things up in the milk department, there’s plenty of other options from goats to peas! What other foods do you notice causing you to ‘snot’ up or become wheezy? Say bye bye to them if you can.
Here are some quick dont’s…
If you smoke, don’t. Or cut down. Now is an important time to protect your health. Quitting the fags is one of the single most valuable ways to supercharge your health. Vapes too. Plus, who knows what the hell is in that filth.
Ditch the scented candles. Instagram home styling account holders will be gunning for me across the globe. Those pretty little pots of fragranced wax are doing your air quality no good. Even the hipster-friendly soy or harvested-under-a-full-moon-essential-oil-infused ones are sending up a cocktail of airborne pollutants. Think planet, think Lungs. Others in the firing line are incense, certainly plug-ins (winces), sprays, bleach, chemical cleaners and perfumes. Sorry, these are all irritants that Lungs naturally do not wish to get involved with. I’m a mild hypocrite here. I’m losing the candles, but i’m going to struggle with saying bye to cologne, so I’ve switched to something more natural, no chemistry set fragrance.
Don’t be a perfectionist. This is one of the key issues I regularly see patients struggling with. Perfectionism is Lungs gone rigid. It’s a limiting practice that does not serve us. Know your boundaries and know when to stop striving.
I feel I have nourished my Lung energy in this post. I’ve been direct. Forthright. Clear and a little judgemental.
Long live the Lungs!