The Link Between Lung Health and Gut Health

A Time For Transformation

As summer turns into fall, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) turns its attention to the lungs and their paired organ—the large intestine. The transformation to fall’s cold, dry air causes a vulnerability of imbalance in the lungs and large intestine, making it the perfect season to nourish and protect these organs.

According to TCM, emotions that arise in the fall (connected with the lungs and large intestine) are feelings of sadness and grief. The prolonged presence of sadness or grief in our lives weighs heavily on the health of the lungs, weakening the lung Qi. Lungs are nourished by breathing; prolonged grief can constrict the lungs, causing the body to experience cold or flu-like symptoms. Contrarily, according to TCM, the lungs can provoke feelings of sadness when they are compromised by colds, smoking habits, and other ailments.

The large intestine is responsible for letting go of bodily waste. If overwhelmed by an excessive amount of grief, bowel movements can become irregular, resulting in diarrhea or constipation. In TCM, grief and sadness, along with other emotions, are considered neither “good” nor bad”, however, it is important that grief or sadness not be allowed to consume the body so that balance is maintained in the lung and large intestine.

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