The Metal Element… Lungs, Digestion & Letting Go
In autumn we learn more about ourselves, perhaps, than in any other season…
Autumn marks the end of the growing season – a turning inward, a falling away of outer-directed energy.
Having provided the harvest, depleted energy quietly returns to the earth. Old leaves fall to the earth, breaking down and enriching the soil.
The metal element instructs us about our own cycles of creating and letting go: Trees in autumn don’t stubbornly hold onto their leaves because they might need them next year. Yet how many of us hold onto remnants of the past that no longer nourish us?
… Or spend valuable time navigating around what we’ve produced or perpetually dusting what we’ve collected – those clunky ornaments, decayed leaves, and unmet expectations that harden us into selfishness, sorrow and negativity?
How can we hope for a harvest next year unless we let go of the old and start afresh?
There is more to this season than “letting go” – it is also a time to take in the pure. The air in autumn becomes fresh and crisp. Think of waking up on a brisk fall day and filling your lungs with clean, cool autumn air. While the Large Intestine eliminates waste, the Lung, the other organ contained within the Metal element, enables us to take in the pure, the new. It grants us the inspiration of a breath of fresh air.
Lungs and large intestine
The Large intestine (colon), one of the two organs in the Metal element, eliminates what is unnecessary or toxic from our bodies. But we are more than just physical bodies.
Think of the daily mountain of useless information and pollutants directed at our minds and our spirit. We need to eliminate mental and spiritual rubbish, so our mind doesn’t become toxic and constipated with the old, unavailable to experience the pure and the beautiful that also surround us.
The Colon function on the mental and spirit level enables us to let go of all this waste.
To maintain a free flowing Large Intestine Meridian requires keen self-observation. Are the neck and shoulders relaxed and free of tension? Are the bowels regular? Is the skin clear? Are the lungs congested? All of these symptoms can be improved by restoring the health of the Large Intestine Meridian .
The yin to the Large Intestine Meridian’s yang is the Lung Meridian.
Like all great partnerships, each part has the capacity to support the other for the highest health of the whole.
According to Eastern Medicine, when the lungs are congested or achy with flu, exercises for the large intestine can help shift sickness into balance.
On the other hand, when the colon or Large Intestine Meridian is stagnant or sore, deep breathing can ignite stronger digestion and elimination.
Weakened digestion can lead to skin problems such as acne, and emotional blockages such as being unable to let go.
Using clear breath circulated from the lungs helps to release emotions of grief and sorrow (emotions associated with the lungs and colon), creating more space (physically, emotionally and spiritually) for presence, love and acceptance.
Restoring peristalsis and good digestion
The underlying cause of health problems is the toxins within our internal organs. Unhealthy eating habits and excessive stress cause your intestines to become cold and stiff, which prevents food from being completely excreted, which then releases toxins. This is called auto-intoxication—self-poisoning by the body’s own toxins. This also negatively impacts the proper absorption of nutrients and minerals from the healthy foods we eat.
Because of this, one of the most powerful exercises you can do for your overall health and digestion is Intestine Exercise.
Intestine Exercise stimulates your intestines, conditioning them into a softer but toned state for healthy peristalsis (expansion and constriction) of the colon. Peristalsis is important becomes it moves matter through your colon, eliminates waste, and enhances nutrient absorption. It removes plaque hardened feces along the walls of the intestine and relieves constipation.
Because two-thirds of your body’s blood flows through your abdomen, Intestine Exercise is great not only for your abdomen, but for the circulation of your entire body.
As the gut is stimulated, bladder and reproductive functions are often enhanced, improving fertility, and feminine illnesses caused by cold energy.
Your skin will also improve as rashes, acne, and skin spots are alleviated by the release of toxins. Click here for a video tutorial on Intestine Exercises
Nature always moves through a period of focused harnessing and mulching…
Sorting value from waste, before resting and once again recreating. We too must be cautious not to overexert and miss the harvest.
The time for “putting it all out there” in full expression – the summer – has passed. Now is the time to harness our energy, acting and speaking only when necessary, behaving with economy, quietly and calmly.
Those in the “autumn of their lives” must protect themselves from the extremes of hot and cold within this season.
As used energy that no longer serves is released, our character flows smoothly.
As our physical needs are met, our human nature yearns for deeper connection and then for meaning and purpose. It is important to note transformation comes with change. Being present and adaptable… Allowing space to flow with your internal and seasonal rhythms… Evaluating your priorities, habits and your outlooks through the changing cycles of daily life.
This is how great leaders simplify their day to day, while creating greater impact. Like the mountains… they stand tall and harness GREAT energy, while nurturing myriad life forms in presence and stillness. See: Tao Of The Mountain… How To Harness GREAT Energy