Shiatsu is based upon Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Tao. These philosophies describe life according to the five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each of these elements represents a season in the year.
This article one in a series about Shiatsu and the seasons.
The arrival of autumn marks a turning point in the year. Since the first signs of Spring its been getting warmer (well in theory anyway!). But now the day length is really shortening, the Sun is lower in the sky and the colder days are really returning.
Nature responds by moving into a more dormant phase. Trees and plants appear to die as they reduce themselves to only the core necessary to maintain life for the following year. For some its only a root in the ground or for trees only the wood remains. Animals also prepare, gathering the last of the late summers food and hording them away for the winter months.
This is an exacting time of year. Only what is necessary is kept. There is no room for sentimental attachment when survival is at stake.
And so in Traditional Chinese Medicine the element Metal is all about letting go of what’s no longer needed. Metal is very precise and logical. Often Metal type people are accountants or lawyers. Metal is neat and tidy with nothing unnecessary left lying around.
Whilst Metal may appear cold and heartless it’s a very important aspect of life. In order for the annual cycle of renewal to take place things must be allowed to fall away or die back.
Suggestions for Autumn and Metal.
- Although we use the term ‘Spring cleaning’ now is a great time to have a clear out at home. Get rid of excess clutter and prepare your home so it may keep you warm and safe for the cold winter months.
- Its also a good time to start looking back at what you’ve created this year. Do you like it? Are projects coming to an end or will you carry some through into next year. What no longer serves you? What can you let go of?
- As the weather get colder our diets should change too. We need more warming foods and an increase in calories. Try swapping salads and smoothies for porridge, soups and casseroles.