Holistic Health,  Holistic Occupational Therapy,  Stay Healthy with the Seasons

Autumn to Winter – The Seasons and Your Health

We are transitioning from Autumn, the harvesting time of year, to Winter, a time to stay warm and conserve one’s energy until Springtime.

Autumn is a time to celebrate and enjoy the abundance from the growth of Spring and Summer and to prepare for Winter. In the tradition of Traditional Chinese Medicine Autumn is governed by the Metal Element.

The Metal Element represents the minerals of earth such as salt, ores, or jewels. Metal can assist with our structures, strength, and substance. It also conducts electricity which can assist with communication, building networks, and holding things together. How are you communicating with others? How are you communicating with yourself? What are you bringing in to your life that is supportive and nourishing? What are you ready to let go?

Emotions often underly physical and mental imbalances. Autumn’s main emotion is Grief.  If you are experiencing extreme grief, or on the flip side, not expressing grief can indicate you may want to give this part of you some extra attention with healing care. You may notice an imbalance in the Metal Element if the structures of the body are not functioning well or if there is too much or not enough grief expressed. However, if your Metal Element is more in balance might experience being communicative, feeling vital, and positive.

The energy and functioning of the Lung and Large Intestine may also be clues as to how your Metal Element is functioning. The Lungs give us life with inspirations and carries oxygen to our blood and tissues in our body and eliminates toxins with each breath out. The Large Intestine assists with absorption of water and nutrients, and assists with elimination of unneeded nutrients.

Essential Oils that may assist with supporting your Metal Element: Cypress, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Hyssop, Pine, Tea Tree, Thyme, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Sweet Marjoram, Myrrh, and Yarrow.

Winter is governed by the Water Element. We are mostly comprised of water – 78% of our bodies are water. We are a sea of oceans, rivers, lakes and sources of life that are fluid and flowing. What areas of your life do you feel like you’re in the flow? What areas do you feel stagnant or stuck? Are you thirsty?  Are you drinking enough water?

The emotion associate with the Water Element is Fear. When it is harmonious you may find yourself feeling confident, resourceful, and wise. When it out of balance you may feel apathetic, unconfident, insecure, or apprehensive.

The energy and functioning of the Bladder and Kidneys can indicate how the Water Element if functioning. The Kidneys filter the blood and fluids in our bodies and assist with appropriate levels of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. In Chinese Medicine it is believed that the Kidneys are the primary source of chi energy and life force. The Bladder assists with excreting fluids once they’ve passed from the Kidneys. The Bladder Meridian is the largest meridian (energy pathway) in the body and covers a great portion of the body.

Essential Oils that may assist supporting your Water Element are: Cedarwood, Geranium, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Thyme, Caraway, Cypress, Jasmine, Sandalwood, and Vetiver.


Consult with your primary health care provider. This is not meant to replace other beneficial healing approaches or to be construed as medical advice.


Traditional Acupuncture: The Law of the Five Elements by Dianne M. Connelly Ph.D., 1994.

Aromatherapy Healing for the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils by Gabriel Mojay, 1997.

Emmy Vadnais is a Holistic Occupational Therapist who is trained in and practices Medical QiGong Energy Healing and Acupressure. She can be reached at [email protected].

Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L has over 20 years experience providing Holistic, Integrative Health, Wellness and Prevention Care in a variety of settings. She is a Holistic Occupational Therapist, Intuitive Healer, Health Coach, teacher, consultant, and writer. She provides holistic and integrative healthcare and intuitive development education to healthcare practitioners and organizations. She is the founder of the Holistic OT Community and is in private practice in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is available for individual sessions, tutoring, classes, and consulting. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Visit her websites at EmmyVadnais.com and HolisticOT.org.

One Comment

  • Kathleen Hill

    Good Morning Emmy!

    I was searching for a holistic counselor and came across your website. I am extremely impressed with the information shown here on your site. I would like to set up a day to meet in person, but at the moment my phone is not working. The best way to contact me would be via email. I work mon-fri 7am-3pm and can be in the St. Paul area as early as 5pm. Are there any openings this week after 5pm? Also, I am curious to know if any of your services can be covered with medical insurance?

    -Kathleen Hill

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