How To Keep Healthy For Winter With Chinese Medicine

It’s been an awesome summer in Auckland, and now the mornings and evenings are cooling and the dryness is arriving. Autumn brings shorter days, the harvesting of crops and preparation for winter.

How do you give yourself the best chance of a healthy autumn and winter?

Start Preparing Now – The lungs need to be strong and healthy now to get you through winter well. Autumn has a contracting energy and is associated with the metal element.


Dress Well – You will have noticed by now that you feel cold at times and hot at others. This is the body expressing sensitivity to the change in weather so be mindful and dress appropriately. Wear a scarf to protect your neck channels (Taiyang) from the wind.

Eat Seasonal Food – Those gorgeous brightly coloured fruits and veg, after all produce is cheapest when it is most abundant! The Sunday Market at Takapuna is evidence of this.

Seasonal Autumn Foods in Auckland 

Veggies: Pumpkin, Brussel sprouts, kumara, cabbage, kale, onion, parsnip, celeriac, swede, beetroot, baby carrots, agria potatoes and squash.
Fruits: Figs, apples, pears, feijoa, lemons, limes, grapefruit and quince.


Emotional Fitness – time to let go. Like the deciduous leaves crimson and fall, it is time to let go emotionally of our worries and problems and do inner work to overcome their burden. Acupuncture, psychotherapy and coaching are great for this. Janice MacKenzie denotes that “both air and metal energies concern mental and spiritual activities, including the workings of the mind, the intellect and communication,” in Discovering the Five Elements: One Day at a Time . She theorises that the inability to be open to new ideas or the rigid holding on to old thoughts can both point to an imbalance in the metal energy.

Special Autumn Activities – Start a breathing meditation practice. Visit mineral pools. Clean out your closets and bookshelves, keeping only what has meaning and value to you.

Ocean Swimming – The water is the warmest in Autumn after all the summer sun so consider going for a swim preferable with a wetsuit to protect your kidney yang. Get warm and dry afterwards for full benefit.

Keep Your Bowel Moving – because Autumn tends to be dry, we can have dryness in the body that leads to constipation. The lung is the organ of autumn and is paired with the Large Intestine. Exercise, castor oil packs, and eating cooked fruits and root vegetables and drinking adequate fluids help your body support this. If you are really struggling an acupuncture session and herbs will help immensely.



Element – Metal

Organs – Lung (yin), Large Intestine (yang)

Emotion – Grief, sadness and letting go

Climate – Dryness

Developmental Phase – Harvest

Flavour – Pungent

Colour – White

Sense Organ – Nose

Tissue – Skin

Sound – Crying

Healing Sound – Ssssssss

Acupuncture Auckland

At Ilana Sowter Acupuncture in Auckland, expect the best holistic health consultation, tailored treatment and advice with 8 years experience supporting good health with acupuncture, dietetics and Chinese herbs on the North Shore.

Call Ilana on 020 4159 8393 or send her an email to for more information.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture