The season of autumn is the time when the metal element is most powerful.
The trees let go of their leaves the bare structure of the branches are revealed, naked and unadorned.
Autumn is the time for containment and economy of energy expenditure. By conserving energy in the autumn we have enough reserves to see us through the long winter.
Metal is yin in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting. The Life force is returning to the core, the energy that peaked at the height of summer and provided the harvest is now contracting, drawing inwards. We return to ourselves and are able to connect to the purity of our spiritual essence.
Autumn is the time to look back, to assess what we have achieved throughout the cycle of the year passed, grieving what might have been, we value what is precious in our lives and let go of the old and extraneous clutter that we hold on to in order to make way for the new.
The five element theory views human beings as being connected to nature and not separate. The understanding the of the natural laws of order and transformation are used to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of disease and assist the body, mind and spirit to move back into full health. The changing of the seasons reflects the endless universal pulsation of expansion and contraction, which balances each other.
The metal element governs what we take in and what we let go. In the body, it governs the organs of the lung and the large intestine. The Lung and Colon work together. The lung takes in the new, pure revitalising air and qi the large intestine maintains health through ‘letting go’ and elimination of waste.
In classical Chinese medicine, the Lung is the yin organ and is described as “the receiver of the pure chi (Qi) from the Heavens.” The lungs govern Qi and respiration.
The rhythmic order of breathing in, fresh clean air, oxygen and the exhalation of stale air, aids the circulation of the blood, revitalising and replenishing all organ functions throughout the body.
To breathe in deeply is to take in life, with confidence and courage bringing renewed inspiration, insight and clarity of thought.
Those with a deficiency in the Metal element tend to be more susceptible to respiratory disease such as asthma, emphysema, congestion, and sinus problems, shortness of breath, coughs, colds and allergies
The skin is associated with Metal. The lungs control the skin the intermediary organ between the between the organism and the exterior environment. In Chinese medicine the skin is often referred to as the "third lung" due to its ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins and waste products through perspiration. Skin problems may be an indication of an imbalance in the metal element. The lungs also control the defensive qi which flows under the skin and helps the body to adapt to the fluctuations of the external environment acting as a first line of defence against invading pathogens.
The large intestine in Chinese medicine is also referred to as the Official of Drainage and Dregs and is responsible for the elimination of waste from the body and mind.
When we are unable to let go and eliminate waste effectively we can become stuck. Attached and holding on to worn out habits and old ideas,Toxins and rubbish builds up and clogs the system we can feel stubborn and stuck, depressed and negative, our vision of the future becomes tainted and we become pessimistic with negative thoughts.
Those with imbalance in Metal often seek respect and recognition from outside of themselves in compensation for the lack of connection to their inner sense of self worth and value, they can be acquisitive and materialistic, collecting and holding on to possessions and achievements, unable to let go and make the space for new things to flow through their life. Meticulous in dress and presentation they feel protected by a rigid veneer unable to breathe out and open to the new. Physical ailments associated with the large intestine are typically disturbance of the bowel movements such as constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and spastic colon.
Bringing balance to the element of Metal.This is the time to reassess and re-evaluate our life, acknowledging all that is valuable and precious in our lives and to have the courage to let go of all that is unnecessary and no longer of use.
To breathe in fully the fresh cool air of autumn and feel the quality of serenity stillness, beauty and calm of autumn and with fresh inspiration new resolve to breathe out, forgive and let go of the tensions, unfulfilled expectations and troubles of the year.