Autumn Awakening: Adapt to Nature’s Cycles for Better Health
By Dr. Molly Casey
Nature goes in cycles throughout the year. They’re called seasons. Human beings rely on nature for life. The seasons of nature affect your life in many ways, some obvious and some not. Depending on the area of the world you live in, the cycles are experienced in different ways. Winter life in Minnesota is different than winter life in Florida.
Because you rely on nature for your existence, when you live in alignment with it as best as possible, you often can see improvements in your life and health. Chiropractic is about assuring the body runs with as little interference as possible and allowing the power that made the body heal the body. Let’s look at a few elements to the fall season that, should you also incorporate them into your own life, you may begin to see positive changes; it’s much better to be floating with the current rather than swimming upstream.
Autumn in 2019 ends on Dec. 21. Daylight hours decrease in the fall when compared to daylight hours experienced in the summer. As the earth revolves around the sun, sometimes it leans toward the sun in the revolution and sometimes it doesn’t. In autumn, the earth doesn’t lean toward the sun, therefore the hours of daylight decrease and daytime/nighttime become more equal. Things in nature tend to naturally slow down with less work because of fewer daylight hours. Fall is a preparatory time before hibernation in the winter.
What does this have to do with your life and health? The truth is that in society, we push and push and push -- and then push some more. This can be seen in people’s schedules, in their workouts at the gym, in their relationships, and in their work hours. The pushing is everywhere. I’m sure you can find examples in your life. The natural cycle of life is that there needs to be a period of decreasing effort that eventually leads to a full rest. This natural slowdown in nature during the fall months is the perfect opportunity to decrease and slow down your schedule, your long hours at work, and trying to cram activity into every second of every day like you did during the summer.
You’ll never stop reading this line from me: sleep is a weapon. It is a weapon in the journey of optimal health. If you take nothing else from this article, use this fall as an opportunity to increase your sleep. Your health and your life will thank you.
As the daylight decreases, the temperatures drop. In autumn, the body takes time to acclimate to any big shifts, and acclimating to temperature is no different. When the weather is colder outside, the body requires more energy to keep heated and maintain proper temperature on the inside. The adaptation period for seasons and body temperature can take about 10 -20 days.
With your body requiring more energy, you can imagine again the concept that increasing your sleep ever so slightly may be beneficial. As well, with the body’s acclimation period it would behoove you to assure that its communication system (the nervous system) is functioning optimally. Nervous system function is enhanced when the protective structure surrounding it (the spine) moves freely and is as healthy as possible. Regular chiropractic adjustments facilitate an optimally healthy spine and, as a result, promote an optimally functioning communication system.
Food Harvests Change
Food changes with the seasons, obviously. Fall foods tend to be much heartier in nature: think more root vegetables. The extra sustenance of the heartier and heavier fruits and vegetables is required due to the increased need for energy and preparation for the colder months. Trying to include more local and seasonal fruits and vegetables is a great way to acclimate your body (as best as possible) to the changes in the season by working with nature specific to geographic location. Sometimes trying new foods in different ways can feel challenging and be a barrier to these changes. One simple option is to shop for fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market. They will have seasonally appropriate produce. Here is an article that is all about cooking some of the fall foods that folks sometimes aren’t quite sure what to do with. For instance, pumpkin can be eaten in more than just pie.
The more you look to live a life that is natural or accommodating to the cycles of nature you’re experiencing relative to your area and climate, the more momentum you and your body have for a flourishing health and life. When you flow with the current instead of swimming upstream, there is less opportunity for extraneous interference.
Your life and health are better with less interference. This is the foundation upon which chiropractic is built and is successful. Yes, get your spine regularly checked and adjusted by a chiropractor. Also include other ways in your life to decrease interference and minimize the effort it takes to operate through life and health. One simple way to do this is to live with the seasons.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.