How to look after yourself in Autumn
According to Eastern medicine, Autumn is the driest season. What can you do to support yourself during this transitional time and the impacts that this shift has on your system?
You might notice that your skin can start to feel dry and itchy, your mind unsettled and distracted, and some discomfort in your joints and muscles. This can occur because as Summer bends slowly into the cold and windy days of Winter, the dryness in our bodies can mirror the inherent dryness of the Autumn weather shaping the environment around us (like the leaves browning and falling crisp to the ground).
Our lungs and large intestines are more vulnerable in Autumn, which can lead to constipation and/or bloating. Asthma and/or a dry cough are also common in this season. It is important to look after yourself now so that your body can get ready for the cold Winter season without any trouble.
How to prevent dryness in the body.
Keep warm and moist
Swap out your shower for a warm bath with Epsom salts. This can provide both warmth and moisture at the same time to your body. Adding some oil into the bath in addition to the Epsom salts helps to keep your skin moist even after the bath. You can add warming essential oils like Cinnamon or Ginger to your bath to really bring the warmth to your body.
Eat warm food
To support good digestion, avoid any cold foods from Summer (eg. Salad, cold drinks, smoothies etc.) Eating cooked, warm vegetables with warming spices can help to reduce any bloating and constipation that you might be experiencing.
Get an oil massage
As previously mentioned, oil is amazing for adding moisture to the body and massage helps to bring heat and warmth by increasing your circulation. Not only do oil massages relax your body and mind, they also help to prevent some of the conditions associated with the Autumn season.
When you get an oil massage, on top of great outcome of the body releasing tension, the skin also absorbs all the benefits from oil itself. As a result, the skin is moisturised, movement in your joints and digestive system are soothed and busy minds start to calm down. You can add simple self-oil massage as a small routine at home with warming essential oils. Or if you don’t know how to do self massage, you can even just rub oil into your body to access the benefits.
Tips for self-oil massage at home
- Warm the oil before use (but not too hot!) and optionally – you can add essential oils
- Apply oil all over the body (don’t forget your head, ears and back of feet)
- Gently massage the body. Use circular movements (don’t worry about technique too much)
- Apply extra oil into the part of body you feel any discomfort (stomach, joints, skin or chest area)
- Keep oil on the skin 5-10 min
- Have a warm shower or bath
It’s a great idea to adjust your lifestyle to be in rhythm with the seasons and not against them. Understanding the seasons can give you an idea of what adjustments you can make to optimise your health. I believe that making these small, habitual changes to everyday life are the most beneficial way to achieve a healthier body and mind.
Written by Massage Therapist, Reina Hanaoka, who is also expanding her knowledge and and completing a course in Ayurvedic lifestyle consultancy. Book in a Massage with Reina to help you enhance your health this Autumn.