Balancing Act: Metal in Metal

Last week we took a look at some ways the Fall season might affect a Fire Type person given that Fire controls Metal.  This week we’ll explore a bit into how the Metal season may affect a Metal person, and some ways you can help yourself maintain balance during the Fall if you happen to be a Metal Type person.  If you’re reading for the first time, it’ll be helpful to read my Five-Phase Intro blog and my favorite Five-Phase Intro article.

Just as with the Fire folks, Metal people will find that Fall affects them differently if they’re overabundant Metal types or depleted Metal types, so be sure you’ve honestly evaluated which category you fit into.

Rule of thumb: if you are an overabundant Metal type, Fall is more likely to exacerbate your health concerns, but if you are a depleted Metal type, Fall is more likely to relieve your symptoms.

The cool, dry air and crisp, clear days of Fall, corresponding with the reduced amount of daylight, encourage pausing for reflection and examination.  It is normal and natural to feel quieter, more reflective, and perhaps more critical of one’s life, choices and use of time.  With the holidays fast approaching, we find that our priorities come into clearer focus- after all, there are only so many hours in the day, and with so many things to do during this season, if it isn’t a priority, it gets left out.

For the overabundant Metal type, this amount of Metal energy in the world around can be stifling.  In the dry, cool air, allergies, asthma and dry skin conditions can act up.  With reduced sunlight, the body synthesizes less vitamin D, which can reduce immune function and darken the mood, leading to higher likelihood of colds and flus as well as increased susceptibility to Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The overabundant Metal type already has plenty of drive to look inward, and may have a tendency toward sharpness and judgment toward self and others, and in the Fall it can be difficult to counteract these tendencies.

There are ways to balance these tendencies in order to enjoy the season more fully, though.  Think back to last week: Fire controls Metal.  This is the antidote for the overabundant Metal person during the Fall.  Inject the Fire phase into your life strategically: arrange to see friends and family slightly more often then you’d like.  Eat warm, moistening soups and stews with lots of colorful vegetables and just a little spicy flavor.  Definitely take vitamin D supplements, and be sure to get outside at least once a day, especially if it’s sunny.  Be sure at least once a week to do something silly and frivolous- and be sure not to think about it too much.  Fire is about action, fun and connection.  This may seem completely awful to your sense of logic and dignity, but once you’ve taken the plunge you will actually feel better.  Try it, you’ll see.

Depleted Metal types, on the other hand, may find Fall to be a breath of fresh air.  The Metal atmosphere supports you and gives you enough energy and drive to gather yourself and get your priorities in order, and decisions made.  As a Metal type person, you have a strong desire for order, beauty, reason and reflection.  At other times of year, it may seem difficult to summon the strength and energy to act on these desires in an appropriate way.  But during the Fall, with support from the proper conditions, you may find it easier to regroup, reassess, and gather your inner strength and resolve to build the life you envision.  Take advantage of this time.  Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the calm, solitude and clarity of a crisp fall day.  Curl up on a long fall evening, look back and reflect upon the past year- even wistfully, if you like.  Use the Metal energy around you to decide what you want to save and what you’d like to cut away and/or change during the next year, and make a plan to support those decisions throughout the year.  The time you take now will help you through other seasons that may be more trying.

If you’re a Metal type, try some of these suggestions, and let me know how they affect you over the course of the next season and year.  I know you can help me refine my advice to make it more effective, and I welcome your input!

Next week we’ll continue looking at how the Fall may affect the different phases…

Posted in Chinese Medicine, Elements Acupuncture News, Five Phase Theory.