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This season is for moving on, clearing up and letting go, says Emma Cannon

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Autumn is the time of year to turn our attention to the immune system. In Chinese medicine it is the time to take care of the lungs and large intestines (also known as the metal element). Our lungs are our first line of defense and they are directly related to the skin; in fact they are seen as the third skin. So the first way to protect the lungs is to take care of our skin. The lungs and large intestine’s functions are all about taking in and letting go. So on an emotional level it is a good time to re-evaluate that which serves us, and that which we need to let go of. Spend time journalling reflecting on these things. Think about value, usefulness, beauty, new experience and then think about habits that you need to break and long held emotions that you might need to let go of now.

5 tips for autumn

1) Beneath the skin is our wei qi; this is our protective qi that protects us from invading pathogens. Think immunity. Skin brushing stimulates the wei qi and applying oils helps to keep the skin well toned and exfoliated. This is an excellent practice for the autumn. I love a salt scrub myself. Maybe it’s my seaside roots but one of my favourite treatments is being scrubbed with salt and wrapped in seaweed. My body just soaks up the minerals from this plant. You might prefer massage or taking care of your skin at home; however you do it, it will help your body’s defenses.

2) Walk in nature. Wrap up and enjoy the bright days as the weather changes. Recently autumn has seen some of the most beautiful days, with bright sunshine and a multitude of colours in nature. Breathe it in, it will strengthen your immunity by reducing stress. Nature is the greatest healer we have.

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