Metal Element/Autumn Season


It’s Metal Time

Feel the change?  Notice a shift?  Autumn has arrived.  The weather is now cool and crisp.  The wind begins to stir and the sun is beginning to set earlier. The leaves are turning vivid hues of red, orange, and yellow.  This is the season for harvesting the bounty that grew during the summer so we can store up for the cold winter ahead.  It’s nature’s time to let go of what is no longer necessary, clearing the way for the growing cycle to come.

The three months of Fall are called the period of tranquility of one’s conduct.  Soul and Spirit should be gathered together in order to make the breath of Fall tranquil.  Autumn is the season of Metal where all things in creation approach their harvest, perfection and completion.  It is a time to organize, work hard, and finish projects that you began in Spring and Summer.

There is often an acute awareness of time passing and growing old in Autumn.  For some people Autumn is a time of transition and sadness, sometimes of desperation and an effort to grab hold of the past and stop the passage of time.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine is as a tool to live harmoniously with the seasons.  Ancient Chinese physicians observed the natural cycles of the seasons and correlated them to the Law of the 5-Elements or Rhythms.  They recorded the best everyday practices for staying healthy and harmonizing our own energy with that of our environment.

“This is the changing or pivoting point when the yang, or active, phase turns into its opposite, the yin, or passive, phase.  Just as the weather in autumn turns harsh, so does the emotional climate.  It is therefore important to remain calm and peaceful, refraining from depression so that one can make the transition to winter smoothly.  This is the time to gather one’s spirit and energy, be more focused, and not allow desires to run wild.  One must keep the lung energy free, full, clean, and quiet.  This means practicing breathing exercises to enhance lung Qi.  Also, one should refrain from smoking and grief, the emotion of lung.  This will prevent the kidney or digestive problems in the winter.  If this natural order is violated, damage will occur to the lungs, resulting in diarrhea with undigested food in the winter.  This compromises the body’s ability to store in winter.”

~ Huangdi Neijing Suwen

Archetype:  The Alchemist
The guiding principle for the Alchemist is transmutation.  Seeking the perfection of form and function through the power of discernment, they distill what is good and pure from what is coarse and primitive.  In striving to extract order from chaos, they mold situations so that people perform their tasks with elegant precision.  The Alchemist is the keeper of standards and measures, the source of aesthetic and moral values, the defender of virtue, principle, and beauty.  They are the master of ceremony and discipline.

The metal element houses our source of inspiration for new ideas and is where new emotions take shape, since it’s our inhalation-connection to the universe.  The metal element gives us the ability to let go of old ideas, beliefs, and attachments, leaving room for new space to grow and evolve, creating the possibility for wisdom.

Metal is the minerals, crystals, and gems of the world.  It is the diamond found in each one of us.  It is similar to the Air Element found in western paradigms.  Think of the times when you’ve felt really connected to Spirit.  It is as if a vortex has been opened above your head, letting all of life’s inspiration come through you.  A Metal person’s greatest virtues are integrity, honesty, excellence, kindness and spiritual seeking.  While a need to be right and in control or being dismissive can be their greatest faults.  Their positive emotion is that of great reverence.  When the Metal person is out of balance, the negative emotions of self-righteous, critical and a sense of emptiness prevail.

The Metal Element is the breath of life.  When you are connected to that experience, you know your own self-worth You respect yourself and others; you are willing to give and receive acknowledgment for the magnificent being that you are.  Metals tend to set high standards for self and others.  When your Metal is healthy, you will easily accept, let go, and move on in life.  Greatest fears for a Metal are loss of control, falling apart, letting go and not having enough time.  Life lessons are to give up control and have faith that all will be complete and perfect in its own time (Divine Order).  Often it’s a challenge for Metal to be spontaneous, childlike, fun, or more social.  Under stress a metal may tend to cut them selves off or withdraw.  Metal gives you the ability to know and convey the quality and value of the services you offer.  It also gives you the ability to create and use structures that support you in being who you want to be and achieving your dream

Of the 5-Rhythms, Metal is often the most challenging to experience in nature.  Metal tends to get a bad rap and is often seen as cold and harsh.  Mother earth is loaded with many minerals and trace elements including salt and crystals with iron ores comprising her core.  Some provide fuel for heat, gemstones for beauty, and materials for building structures and telecommunications.

Metal creates structure and provides strength and reinforcement for building.  It’s vital for the transportation industry and absolutely crucial for all communication systems.  Metal gives us a substance with which to build networks. Metal conducts electricity.  Wires connect our phones, TV’s and computers.  Consider rivers and streams, the pathways in which they flow are a network formed by the metal of the earth.

Lungs and Large Intestine
Fall corresponds to the lungs, skin, and large intestine.  The lungs and large intestine are in charge of respiration, digestion, and elimination.  Common symptoms associated with lung and large intestine imbalances are respiratory problems, such as asthma, shortness of breath, frequent colds, and sinus infections, as well as, constipation, low back pain and skin problems.

The body is particularly susceptible to wind and cold during the fall.  Dryness can cause symptoms of coughing, dry nose, sore throat, dry skin, dry hair and scalp, dry mouth and cracked lips, and hard and dry stools.  The acupuncture meridians related to the metal element are the Lung and Large Intestine meridians.

Each of the 5-Element’s is present in the universe and in our bodies.  Elements are also found in our food.  Adding more nourishing yin foods to your diet can promote body fluid, soothe the lungs and protect you from dryness.

Eating with the season
In the fall, eat fewer cold, uncooked foods — such as salads — and more warm, cooked foods.  Switch from salads to soups and steamed vegetables such as winter squash, winter peas, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and yams.  Incorporate yellow and red foods into your meals.  Start your day with hot oatmeal.  

Foods that nourish the Metal Element
Foods like wild rice, raw onions, garlic, radish, turnip, kohlrabi, cinnamon, mint, rosemary, scallions, cloves, fennel, anise, dill, mustard greens, horseradish, mustard, basil, nutmeg are considered metal foods.  These foods have a dispersing effect and promote energy circulation.  They mostly benefit sluggish, damp, lethargic, and cold people.  The taste associated with metal is pungent or spicy.

Here are some more warm and nourishing foods and herbs to add to your fall diet: Apple, Banana, Beets, Bell pepper, Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Cranberry, Figs, Ginger, Grapes, Leeks, Pears, Persimmons, Plums, Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Red cabbage, Sage, Spinach, Thyme, Whole grains, Winter squash and Yam.

Metal people love minimalism.  They like blank walls and monochromatic color schemes because it calms their futuristic minds.  They are organized, clean, and contained, living very simply or very regally.  They easily give away personal possessions because they do not like to accumulate things.

Metal colors are white and all metallic shades: gold, silver, chrome, brass, and bronze.  The associated direction is west, and its organs are the lungs and large intestine. Past, future and aesthetics are the values associated with metal.

Metal’s enjoy the good life and all it has to offer — luxury, comfort and especially freedom.  They create their own success and achieve their desired destiny with great focus.  Others look up to them in awe of their commanding, confident presence.  While Metal individuals are strong and virtuous, they can be a bit set in their ways too.  Determined Metal Signs always go after what they want!

Find your source of inspiration, connect to spirit, and nourish your soul.  Enjoy the fullness of who you are, for Metals this is your season to shine.

Metal as the symbol of wealth and protection
Metal is a dual element, associated with both wealth and protection.  Think of all the weapons made from metal.  Metal is a symbol of organization and holds its form well.  Metal is also associated with money picture the Chinese coin, round with a square hole in the center.  Metal shaped buildings are either rounded or squared.  These buildings bring money, an ideal shape for a bank.  Houses with high ceilings and a lot of grass are also metal homes; metal is reflective and needs a lot of space.

Protecting Your Lung Qi
Lung 7 • Lie Que • Broken Sequence.

Location:  On the radial side of the forearm, 1.5 cun superior to the tip of the radial styloid process.

Lung 7 is one of the most powerful points on the lung meridian points.  It is a popular acupuncture point to use for stopping a persistent cough and relieving a sore throat.  Besides treating those symptoms, LU 7 is often used to treat conditions related to the head and neck, such as headaches, migraines, stiff neck, facial paralysis, and toothache.  Use for emotions of grief and sadness.

LU 7 is considered to be the “command point” of the head and neck and is also used to improve circulation in the brain and stimulate memory.

Lung 9 • Tai Yuan Great Abyss.  Also the Yuan Source Point on the Lung Channel.

Location:  On the lateral side of the anterior wrist crease, in the depression on the radial side of the radial artery.

Asthma •  Chest Pain •  Cough •  Coughing Blood •  Dyspnea •  Eye Disorders •  Forearm Medial Pain •  Headache • Palpitations •  Respiratory Disorders •  Throat Soreness •  Toothache •  Wrist Joint Soft Tissue Diseases •  Wrist Pain  

Large Intestine 4 He Gu Union Valley.  Yuan Source Point on the Large Intestine Channel. Command Point of the Face and Mouth.

Location:  On the dorsum of the hand, approximately at the midpoint of the second metacarpal bone, in the belly of the first interosseus dorsalis muscle.

Contraindication: Do Not Needle If Pregnant

Abdominal Pain •  Amenorrhea •  Arm Pain •  Constipation •  Deafness •  Eye Deviation •  Eye Disorders •  Facial Edema •  Facial Muscle Paralysis •  Fever Without Sweating •  Finger Contraction •  Headache •  Hemiplegia •  Intestinal Disorders •  Labor Difficult •  Mouth Deviation •  Nosebleed •  Parotitis •  Respiratory Disorders •  Skin Disorders • Throat Soreness •  Toothache