Licensed Acupuncturist
Traditional Japanese & Chinese Medicine
Health & Wellness Educator
October 1, 2009

“In the three months of autumn all things in nature reach their full maturity…the wind begins to stir.  This is the pivoting point when the yang phase turns to its opposite, the yin phase … This is the time to gather one’s spirit and energy, be more focused … This means practicing breathing exercises to enhance Lung Qi … If this natural order is violated, damage will occur to the Lung … This compromises the body’s ability to store in winter.”

~ Huang di Nei Jing
(The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, trans. P. Unschuld)


Prevention and wellness have long been core concepts in traditional Chinese thinking.  The medicine has many strategies for strengthening the immune system (the Lungs in this system) to prevent illness. Waiting until one is sick to begin treatment is likened to “digging a well when one is already thirsty.”

Research in Japan shows that regular moxibustion treatments increase white blood cell count for extended periods of time.  And, acupuncture is excellent for decreasing stress – a well-known immune-depressant. You might consider some tune up treatments as we enter into cold and flu season.  I’ve also listed some additional immune enhancing strategies on my website.

In traditional thinking, the effects of seasonal changes are taken seriously with the presumption that “as above, so below; as outside, so inside.”  Fundamentally, wellness is achieved when one’s life is in harmony with one’s environment, surroundings and relationships.  Fall is the time to allow for closure and the completion of things.

The lungs are most affected at this time and therefore need focused circulation and support. Our “Food as Medicine” segment this month focuses on foods that will provide targeted support for the lungs.

Food as Medicine: Immune System Support

In Chinese medicine, autumn and the Lungs are associated with the element metal and the color white.  Vegetables and fruits that have white flesh or are pungent in nature are most helpful to the Lung Qi, allowing it to circulate more readily.  These foods include apples, pears, turnips, garlic, radishes, parsnips, rutabagas, cauliflower, onions, leeks, shallots and ginger.  Of course too much dispersal of Qi can weaken the system. Balance is always key.

The gelatin in homemade broth is also an excellent Lung support/immune-stimulant. Gelatin is a “protein sparer” – allowing the body to make better use any consumed proteins.

This informative article, “Broth is Beautiful”, describes the art of broth making and provides many pearls of culinary information.

Please pass feel free to pass this newsletter along to friends and family. Happy Autumn!

~ Tracy

Tracy Thorne Wellness, LLC

1235 SE Division Street, Suite 115
Portland, Oregon 97202

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