Welcome to lung season and happy fall!
In Chinese Medicine, the fall is associated with the lung organ. This makes sense in a lot of ways— the lung is most susceptible to the dry season (our driest season is fall), the lung is the most delicate organ when it comes to being susceptible to external pathogens (cold & flu season begins in the fall), etc.
One of the most important functions of the lung is to govern qi and regulate breathing. Supporting lung qi through nutrition can help treat symptoms like shortness of breath, dyspnea, weak voice/breath. Strengthening the lungs and our external defense mechanism (Wei Qi) can help prevent external pathogens, like the common cold or allergies, and even coronavirus!
The lung has a close relationship with the spleen, so if our spleen is weak or over-taxed we can end up with phlegm in the lungs— this can look like sinus infections or cough. Proper diet can help resolve chronic phlegm and prevent further accumulation of it. Phlegm forming foods include dairy (which is easily the #1 phlegm forming food I see in patients’ diets), oily/fatty food, sugar, cold foods and drinks. (I’m looking at you, iced coffee and smoothie drinkers!!!)
The easiest way to aid the lungs through food is to eat easy-to-digest foods that are fresh and lightly cooked, typically with less water and at lower temperatures. Eat small meals more frequently and avoid raw and cold foods like salads and fruits. Some general foods that aid the lung typically include white foods, acrid/warm foods, and aromatic spices, including:
-almonds/almond butter/almond milk
-spiced teas like ginger tea
Love cupping is like normal cupping in that it has all of the benefits of regular cupping, with a heart-shaped twist.
So, what is food therapy?
In Chinese medicine, food has been used for thousands of years as a way to heal the body. All foods have different properties, such as warming, cooling, bitter, pungent, sour, spicy, etc. You can use these properties to your advantage based on your own individual constitution and the time of year! For example, everyone should incorporate these foods into their diets this summer because they help cool the body: