The Autumn Equinox: How the Seasonal Change Affects Our Health

The Autumn Equinox takes place on or around 23rd September, marking the change in seasons and the spiralling in of energy.

If you experience symptoms like colds, ‘flu, skin rashes or digestive irregularities around this time, it can be a good sign! How is that possible?

The Two Phases and the Seasons

We can compare the seasons to the Two Phase model of health and energy. In its extreme form, the Two Phase model describes dis-ease, yet in a subtler form, it represents the natural balance of day-night – and the balance of activity and regeneration. We need a healthy balance between directive activity and passive receptivity.

The beginning of spring can be seen as the beginning of the First Phase, the Stress Phase, as it’s a time of increasing energy and activity. Energy spirals outwards, both in nature and ourselves!

This activity continues throughout the summer, and we feel motivated to go out into the world, to interact and achieve.

The Autumn Equinox, like a conflict resolution, marks the crossover point into the Second Phase, the Regeneration Phase. Our energy moves inwards, and our focus is directed to ourselves, to self-reflection, rather than facing outwards towards others and the world.

This crossover point, a moment of pause, is a powerful opportunity for letting go, changing our emotional and behavioural patterns, and shifting our consciousness.

This is when we can become more receptive: we can open ourselves to receiving nourishment and warmth in order to rebuild our resources for the winter ahead.

Symptoms are a natural part of this shift

As those who have had some training in META-Health will be aware, the typical symptoms of ‘illness’, such as colds and ‘flu, skin irritations, diarrhoea and muscular aches and pains, are actually signs of regeneration.

They can be seen as the body’s way of releasing the toxins built up during the Stress Phase, and they enable us to rebuild and regain balance. Rather than suppressing these symptoms, if we allow and embrace them, we emerge stronger at the end of the Regeneration Phase.

During this time, we may experience unexpected waves of emotion – this is also part of the unconscious shift, and we benefit from allowing and letting go of these previously-suppressed feelings.

What can we do to support the transition?

There may be a temptation to remain busy, suppress any symptoms and soldier on. Far better is to allow your body to take you inwards, and take this opportunity to slow down. Experiment with receptivity – being rather than doing.

You can support the body-mind by taking simple actions such as:

  • Ensuring you are adequately hydrated, and drinking water at room temperature or warmer
  • Shifting to a warming, nourishing diet of seasonal food, such as fresh soups made with root vegetables. Digestion is particularly important at this time of year, as the body wants to absorb nutrients, gain weight and build energy resources for the winter ahead
  • Getting plenty of rest – earlier nights, later mornings or rest periods during the day to support your body’s adjustment to the change in rhythm
  • Engaging in gentler forms of exercise
  • If you experience seasonal symptoms, practice self-tolerance: accept and embrace them as part of change instead of suppressing them
  • If you feel mental and emotional changes taking place, increasing your practice of meditation and/or therapy
  • Rather than getting active and setting goals, taking time to reflect on what inspires you, what creates meaning in your life, and how to become more aligned with what’s really important to you
  • Immersing yourself in warm environments when it feels good, like having a foot spa, bath or sauna or just wrapping up in a cosy blanket
  • Getting out into nature regularly and enjoying the warmth of the autumn sun and russet colours
  • Doing more of what feels self-nourishing for you

How has the seasonal change affected you? What are your tips for supporting the changeover?

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1 Comment

  • Chris Coney

    Reply Reply September 28, 2015

    I’ve had myself some digestive changes recently. I even had some digestive supplements show up at my door from Amazon that I didn’t even order! The package was addressed to me and everything but there’s no record of an order in my account. I’ve asked around and no one I know, knows anything about it 🙂

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