What is the Problems of Fall? The fall is a pleasantly cool season. Where I live in the northeastern part of the United States, every October is extraordinarily beautiful. The multicolored foliage all over the mountains is like an exquisite picture. However, for those who understand how to nurture their health, Fall is an important season. In particular, it is a dangerous season for diseases of the throat and lungs.
As people who understand how to nurture their health and practice qigong know, Fall is associated with metal among the five phases, therefore we refer to the Qi of Fall as “metal Qi.” Fall is the season when farmers harvest their crops, and hunters pursue prey, so deathly Qi is strong. Therefore in Chinese culture this season is considered to be metal, implying harvesting.
When our bodies go through a long summer, because the weather is hot our pores naturally open to disperse the heat inside, and our bodies also become very relaxed. In Fall the weather is cool, so the pores naturally begin to close to prevent the cold from entering our bodies. However, at the same time the internal heat is not able to disperse, so it is a season where it is easy to catch colds, and throat and lung diseases. For older people, the transition between Fall and Winter in October and November is an even more dangerous period for these issues. A natural curative lifestyle method is exercise, which disperses the internal heat of the body. In ancient China people in this season enjoyed climbing mountains and looking off into the distance, to the body adjust to the changes in the natural environment.
Daoists who seek to avoid disease and promote longevity constantly investigate the effects of the changes of the seasons on the body, and so we have a set of Fall qigong, which uses massage, meditation, and various movements to clear out the meridians and disperse the hot Qi (pathogenic Qi) from the body. This set of qigong is suitable for those with colds, breathing problems, and throat and lung issues.
Author: Daoist Master XuanYun Zhou
Translator: Larson Di Fiori