Autumn is the season for the Metal
Autumn is just around the corner, the weather will be cooler and drier. According to TCVM principles, dryness becomes a major problem affecting the metal element.
The Metal horse is clean, quiet, confident and disciplined. They like to follow the rules and do not like change. They learn quickly but it is quite a task to train them for a new job. They tend to be aloof.
The associated meridians and Zang Fu organs of the metal are the lungs and large intestine. The external orifice is the nose and the tissue is the skin and hair. The metal element is involved with respiration and digestion due to its relationship with the lungs and large intestine but it also is deeply involved with the skin and hair coat and the immune system.
As the seasons change from hot humid summer to cooler drier fall weather, the lung can be weakened by the dryness. This leads to symptoms such as
dry flaking skin, dry nasal cavity, frequent nose bleeds, sore throat, coughing and constipation. The weakened immune system leaves us open to infection by external pathogens, ie virus, bacteria, mold and allergens.
Drinking enough water and avoiding losing too much fluids are always important, but are even more so at this time of year. After a hot summer with numerous reminders to rehydrate, cooler temperatures cause us to take in less water. You don’t feel hot and parched so you drink less. This makes you more susceptable to the effects of dryness as your mucosa in your nose, mouth and throat ( your 1st line of defense against pathogens) dries out and becomes less functional.
Symptoms of dryness include impaction colic, respiratory distress of COPD, skin itching, flaking, rain rot, nasal discharge, susceptability to respiratory diseases, decreased energy, cracked hooves and dandruff.
So what can you do to prepare for the fall season ?
Start with food therapy. Eat more soups, stews or cooked vegetables. This will increase your water intake and cooked food is easier to digest and warming so boosts your qi. Cooked yams or pumpkin with ginger is a good addition to your animal’s diet at this time of year. Pear is also an excellent choice to tonify the lung. Pear reduces cough, relieves dryness and tonifies the qi. Any yellow, orange and/or red foods are good to incorporate into the diet, so bananas, lemons, apples, beets, yams, squash are great to incorporate into the diet.
Grief is the emotion of the metal. Your horse may seem sad or depressed with the shortening of the days. This is a time of the year to be reflective. Look over your goals for your horse. Is it time for a rest before the season gears up in the winter early spring or is it time to push on for the finally before the winter ? Organize and make a plan for your metal horse that involves rest or sufficient support to get him through the end of his season. For people, we say now is the time to let go of negative emotions. For horses, they may have more off days than usual in the fall. Maybe it is time for a trail ride rather than dressage school or do shorter sessions with rest and praise in between sets.
If symptoms persist, seek additional treatment such as acupuncture, herbal therapy and chiropractic care. An immune supplement such as Standard process immune support can help boost qi and fight off colds.