When Autumn makes its quiet entrance, the Metal Element begins to shine forth. It’s the time of year when Nature is letting go. The leaves are dropping, the temperatures are dropping, the ends of the year are being tidied up in preparation for Winter hibernation. If Metal is in balance in us, its gifts are truly precious: the ability to let come what may and to let go of what is not serving us; the capacity to accept without attachment, to see value in ourselves and others, to respect and acknowledge, to revere. The Sanskrit greeting Namaste, which can be translated as “I respect that divinity within you that is also within me,” is a phrase that embodies these qualities of Metal.
When our Metal is out of balance these qualities begin to be lost to us, and we cannot let come and let go. We hang on to objects, ideas and emotions that do not serve us. We may become obsessed and compulsive. We may be stuck in grief, unable to move on after the loss of someone or something dear to us. Our lungs and large intestine begin to suffer . Busy with our nose to the grindstone, we may have lost contact with Spirit, or on the other hand, we may have our head in the clouds and be unable to function in our body. We lose our balance between Heaven and Earth.
In treating the Metal Element, the practitioner holds points along the meridians of Lung and Large Intestine. These are the meridians of letting come and letting go, of allowing and accepting.
We can support our Metal by breathing exercises that promote relaxed breathing. About 30% of our Qi comes from the air that we breathe, so it’s important to optimise this intake process. Having a healthy colon is very important to allow waste and toxins to be effectively removed. Eating some raw foods, minimising mucous producing foods, exercising the abdominal muscles are supportive. Also clearing our lives of things that are no longer serving us, including objects, ideas, behaviours and relationships. Foods that support Metal are white in colour such as cauliflower, potato; and pungent in flavour such as spices and aromatic herbs.
The emotion of Metal is grief or sorrow. When we lose a loved one, a precious object, a cherished ideal, it is natural to grieve and to feel the loss or absence. But when we are unable to let go and move on, the grief tightens and hardens us. We might look at those things in our lives that we once had but are now gone and that we are longing for to return. When we think about these things, what effects do we notice in our minds and bodies? The responses will help gauge the health of our Metal.