Through the many different avenues of loss, everyone has experienced the effects of grief. The depression and sadness that accompany sorrow can weaken the immune system which creates an opportunity for illness. Chinese medicine considers autumn to be the season of grief and sorrow, making it especially important to nurture one's health and emotional wellness during this time of year.
Adequate vitamin C is essential. Camu Camu and Amla berries are the highest source of natural vitamin C. A good quality vitamin D supplement is very important for immune function as well. For adults, The Vitamin D Council advises at least 5,000 IU per day.
Homeopathic remedy Ignatia Amara is recommended to keep one grounded during intense emotional waves. Lycopodium can be used when one is in a grieving mood and tends to weep after a fit of anger. Gelsemium is indicated when there is sorrow over the loss of a child.
Body work is beneficial in keeping the energy channels open which eases stagnation and suppression of the emotions. Acupuncture, massage, reiki, chiropractic adjustments, and yoga are all supportive choices.
Melissa Pfannenstiel, Licensed Acupuncturist, states:
"Autumn is the season representing the lung and large intestine meridians. The element is metal and the emotion is grief.
Chinese medicine mimics the natural environment. As we move from the yang of summer into the yin of fall we, as humans, pull energy inward, similar to the action of trees gathering energy inward resulting in falling leaves.
The external perspective looks as though things are dying but the natural rhythm assures us spring will birth again. The transition period between seasons can present challenging times. It is not about how well we remain in balance, but with how much grace do we return to balance. With the external environment shedding layers it is likely excess grief will settle into the chest center, weakening the breath. The importance of breathing fully and deeply can ground one in the physical body."
Flower essences can be effective in gently balancing the body. Star of Bethlehem, Sweet Chestnut, and Rescue Remedy are recommended for grief.
A diet consisting of complex carbohydrates, whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, while minimizing sugar and caffeine, nurtures the body and soothes the emotions.
Drinking at least 8 cups of water per day is important during periods of sorrow. Water helps to keep the emotional channels open and fluid while flushing toxins out of the system, and it helps to support the body in maintaining balance while under stress.
As insomnia is common with grief, magnesium citrate before bedtime relaxes the body and calms the heart. Chamomile tea is a positive evening ritual to promote tranquility. Passion Flower is useful for calming the nerves and reducing high blood pressure. Valerian eases anxiety and stress while encouraging sleep. Skullcap has been shown to be effective for worry, restlessness, and emotional conflict.
Providing natural support for the process of grief, these recommendations can help to gently heal sorrow with presence and compassion.
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