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Tips for Preventing and Treating Illnesses due to Metal Imbalance: Lung and Large Instestine

Posted: Oct 2nd, 2006

COLDS AND FLU
To prevent and treat a cold, do a nasal wash with a neti pot twice each day (In place of a neti pot, you may use a Nasopure bottle, available at Clover's. In case of fever, nasal wash is not recommended). Eliminate dairy, use warming spices and herbs (ginger, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, chili) in teas and food preparation. While pranayama and aerobic yogic practice (e.g. surya namaskar) are helpful in preventing illness, it is necessary to reduce these practices during illness and focus on restful practices such as yoga nidra, silence and meditation. Get enough rest and avoid overeating in order to conserve prana. For congestion, inhale steam for 10 minutes daily.

ASTHMA
Ayurveda and Chinese medicine recognize that healing asthma is not possible if constipation is not relieved. Both traditions acknowledge a connection between asthma and emotional issues related to serious loss experienced in childhood. Yoga nidra is recommended as a means of relaxing spasm of the chest and lungs and chanting om is suggested as a tool for strengthening and relaxing the body. It may be necessary to use neti (nasal wash) in order to facilitate the practice of pranayama. Appropriate postures will vary from person to person.

HAY FEVER AND SINUSITIS
Use a neti pot twice daily. Become aware of mental blockages and images that arise with symptoms. Meditation and yoga nidra are recommended. Prevent these conditions by staying warm in cool weather and eliminating smoking. Steam inhalation will provide relief.

BRONCHITIS
Kapalabhati (breath of fire) and nadi sodhana (alternate nostril breathing) are recommended treatments for bronchitis. Choose yoga postures that open the chest like backbends, forward bending postures to massage the abdomen, and of course, rest with yoga nidra. Take daily walks; inhale steam. Soak the feet in hot water with mustard added, at least 20 minutes, until feet are rosy and feel gingery.

CONSTIPATION
Eliminate starch and processed foods, drink plenty of water but not while eating, and massage abdomen. Kapalabhati provides rhythmic stimulation for the colon. Here are some tips for creating a yoga practice to support your Metal energy

  • Choose postures that stretch the Lung and Large Intestine meridians (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists).
  • Choose postures and practices that create warmth (unless you have a fever), like surya namaskar (Sun salutations) or other flowing sequences.
  • Choose practices that promote inward focus (twists, forward bends, meditation, yoga nidra).
  • Choose postures that expand chest (backbends) and massage abdomen (forward bends).
  • Create an environment for your practice that inspires quiet reverence (use candles, sacred chant, images or items of simple beauty).
  • Practice between 3:00-7:00 AM, when the Metal energy is most available.

Self-Assessment for your Metal Energy

  • I protect my neck and shoulders from cold weather with warm clothing
  • My diet changes in the fall with more cooked, savory food and root vegetables 
  • My home and office are clear of clutter 
  • All that is not essential is released from my schedule
  • I choose to give acknowledgment to others whom I value
  • I am comfortable receiving acknowledgment from others
  • I grieve and release experiences that are no longer valuable to me
  • I am aware of my spiritual connections with others and the Universe
  • I have a regular spiritual practice

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