Next week is the Autumnal Equinox, which means we are headed into longer nights, shorter days. From a Chinese Medicine point of view, this means that for the next six months, Yin energy dominates. Within the 24 hour clock, Yin is associated with night, Yang with daytime. Yin is inward, quiet energy, and Yang is outward, active energy.

You may want to recalibrate somewhat to reflect the nature of this time of year. My favorite “prescription” as we head toward the deepest Yin (which is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year), is to recommend more sleep. Given that we are a nation of sleep-deprived people, this is a useful concept at any time of year, but it is even more powerful during the Yin dominate months. It doesn’t even have to be a lot more sleep – just more than you have been getting during the summer, Yang dominate months.

Also think about the type of exercise you are doing. As we move into Fall, ask your body what it wants to do. You may find that what worked in July doesn’t feel right in November.

This is a great time of year to reflect and assess what has been working well, and to lay plans for projects and plans that you want to launch with the quickening of Yang energy next spring.

I know this may seem “premature”, since Bay Area late summer is some of our best weather, and it isn’t yet feeling really Fall-like. But, starting next Friday, every day will be shorter than the one before, and while many grieve the loss of the solar energy, there is a richness to the shedding of fall that is worth tuning into, rather than fighting.

Kirstin Lindquist, L.Ac.

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