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The Relationship Between Autumn and Our Lungs

At the foundation of Chinese medicine are the theories of yin and yang and the five elements. The five elements have been indicated as the basic constituents of nature or the dynamic qualities of nature. They include: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element has certain qualities and is related to a specific season.  The autumn season corresponds to metal and is associated with harvest. The organs related to metal are the lungs and large intestine.  According to Chinese medicine theory, the lungs govern the skin and are the first organ to be affected by external pathogenic factors.  Therefore when our lung qi (defensive qi) is weak, one can be more susceptible to becoming ill from the exterior. Signs of external invading pathogenic factors include headache, stiff neck, fever, sneezing, blocked nose and cough. Dryness can be particularly damaging to the lungs as well which can lead to dry cough, dry throat and dry skin.  In addition, too much dampness can impair the lung's functioning leading to profuse sputum in the lungs.  In this case avoiding cold, raw, greasy foods, sugar and dairy (particularly milk), is important.  Feelings of sadness and worry can weaken our lung qi, in addition to improper posture, and smoking.  Receiving regular acupuncture treatments can help to strengthen the lung qi which can help with strengthening the body's ability to ward off pathogens. Please call 585.465.1056 or visit us online at to schedule an acupuncture visit.