Autumn Is on Its Way !
Season of the Metal Element
By Hopi Wilder
Autumn is the time of the metal element in Chinese cosmology. When we think of metal we often think of precious objects such as gold and silver. We are familiar with industrial metals such as steel that hold up buildings, copper that is used in conduction of electricity, and ore that we burn for fuel. However, metal also encompasses the minerals in the earth that constitute the basic building blocks of life. Minerals make the earth rich and fertile and consequently create highly nutritious vegetables and fruits. We then use the minerals we ingest via food (and water) to build healthy cells in our bodies. The metal element is essentially the “structural” aspect of our body, mind, and spirit. It is a symbol of endurance and our capacity to persevere through the coming winter or times of difficulty.
Metal & Communication
Metal also provides the infrastructure for all forms of communication. Without metal in our chips, cells, and towers, we wouldn’t be able to instantly communicate with each other across the planet. Since the lungs are the yin organ of fall, all forms of spoken communication are also included in the metal element. The lungs’ function of breathing is probably one of the most underrated forms of obtaining energy. It is a miracle that we breathe without thinking about it and take fresh oxygen into our bodies, exhaling waste products. I’m not referring just to carbon dioxide’s going out, either. When we remember to breathe deep down into our bellies, we consciously let go of negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
The ability to let go of physical waste in our bodies is also governed by the metal element. The large intestine is the yang, metal organ of the body, also known as the “garbage collector.” If there are problems in this element you may experience bloating, swelling, constipation/diarrhea, vomiting, and acne. Metal imbalances can also show up as flare-ups in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, muscle spasms, and headaches. People with a metal imbalance often have a distinct “white” hue to their faces. Doing a gentle cleanse or requesting a herbal consultation is a good idea if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
The emotion that is associated with the fall is grief or sorrow. This isn’t necessarily a negative emotion, however, until it is out of balance. If you are unable to express grief or can’t stop crying, these are signs of a metal imbalance. Sometimes autumn is a time of desperate transition for people. Or it can be a time of the joyous harvesting and storing up of resources for the oncoming winter. A distinct lack of emotional strength could also be a sign of a metal imbalance. It may be stemming from a deeper inability to “harvest” your own energy. Do you find it easy to encourage other people but hard to be acknowledged yourself? This metal imbalance is also psychologically linked with “father issues” that we may have from childhood.
These are all interesting concepts to ponder. The kernel of healing is the understanding of your issues and the desire to get well. Chinese medicine is an amazing framework to categorize information. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
Hopi Wilder, Chico Community Acupuncture, 530-345-5300.