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Working with the Seasons to Optimize your Health - Autumn

As mentioned previously, Shiatsu is a truly hollistic health care modality steeped in oriental eastern traditional medicine . But what does this mean? Well truly hollistic approach looks at all aspects of your life, not only the physical symptoms your body may be communicating to you. For example presentation of a headache, lack of energy, digestive upset or niggling back etc. We are also interested in how you are sleeping....or not, stress levels, the sense or enjoyment present in your life, what your appetite is like and the flavours you are leaning towards as well as how your body is processing and eliminating these foods. Hollistic means exactly that, all facets of your life.

On the up side this means we are able to make recommendations for you to support yourself between your shiatsu treatments with incorporating specific foods into your diet, practicing different stretches or activities to support the meridians that are needing some nourishment or boosting. Putting you back in the driver seat for improving or optimizing your health.

As we feel the true crisp autumn mornings this May and we naturally begin to succumb to the desire to slow down and stay indoors or prepare to hibernate, at least socially. This is a key time leading into the more Yin season of Winter, to gather our energy and rest. The key meridian at play in Autumn is those of the Metal element, Lung and Large Intestine. It is a time for shedding, letting go, and the emotion associated with the Lung is grief. Experiencing excessive or prolonged grief can drain our Qi or energy, leaving the Defensive Qi (Wei Qi), which the lungs govern, weaker in its efforts to ward off pathogens in the environment around us. To boost Lung Qi breathing exercises and incorporating foods such as stewed apples or pears, bok choy, zucchini and celery or seaweed into the diet can help.

Letting go our Summer fun and transitioning into Autumn and then to Winter, the Spleen and Stomach also play a big role. So in order to support your body in this transition, and in turn support your immune system to ward off the cold and flu pathogens that reappear at this time, turning to earthy root vegetables that are well cooked like roasts and slow cooking is ideal. These methods of cooking infuse the food with maximum energy assisting in breaking down their starchy raw state to one that is easier to digest and extract the nutrients to nourish the body. I like to incorporate the colours of autumn in my roasts as you can see here, after all we eat with our eyes first!

So why not roast a large batch of your favourite root vegetables on the weekend to support you during the week?

Here is a favourite nourishing Autumn to Winter recipe I use.

Italian Style Meatball Medley


500g Lamb mincemeat

1/2 brown onion diced

1 egg

1 splash of Tomato Sauce

Approx 1/4 cup brown rice flour or plain flour

Medley Ingredients

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 brown onion

2 sticks celery diced

2 carrots diced

400g can or homemade Italian tomatoes diced

3-4 cups of stock (6 cups if wanting to make this more soup like)

1 can Lentils, drained and rinsed

1 can Butterbeans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves roughly chopped to serve


Combine meat, onions, egg, sauce and flour.

Mix with hands and form small meatballs.

Heat oil in a large deep frypan over a medium heat. Add meatballs and brown evenly for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add onion, celery and carrot to pan and cook stirring occasionally for 10 mins.

Add tomatoes, stock and lentils. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins.

Return meatballs to pan. Cook for 10 mins or until meatballs are heated through and lentils are tender.

Stir in butterbeans and cook for 2 minutes or until heated through.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.

What do you look forward to in your transition from the very yang time that is Summer to Autumn and then Winter?

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