Boundary | Breath | Renewal – The Metal Element in Chinese Medicine


Boundary, Breath, Renewal - The Metal Element in Chinese Medicine


The energy of Autumn more than any other supports our letting go so we might become open to receive the pure and new. In Chinese medicine, metal is the element associated with this season and the qualities attributed to the metal element are firmness, rigidity, persistence, strength, and determination. The positive emotion attributed to the metal element is catharsis (emotional release) which is essential for renewal. When we release what no longer serves us, we create space for stillness and open ourselves to positivity and light; regaining insight for what is most precious in our lives.

Boundary, Breath, Renewal - The Metal Element - Autumn


In nature, the trees and plants transition from the fiery energy of summer to the calm of Autumn, letting go of their leaves, fruit, and seeds. As nature slows down and turns inward, it is natural to experience feelings of sadness and loss. When we allow ourselves to feel these emotions, make our peace with them, and let them go, we maintain good health and well being. When these emotions get bottled up, are too intense, or felt for long periods of time, we may need help letting them go. There is only room for new and positive transformation when we are able to move on from the patterns that hold us to where we are now. Letting go of grief is essential for renewal.

Boundary, Breath, Renewal - Transformation - Letting Go


When we take stock of what is important to us and let go of what no longer serves us, we can establish new and healthy boundaries for ourselves. I recommend a thorough fall cleaning of your home, work, and other places where you spend time. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Tackle just one thing at a time; a shelf, drawer, desktop, or room. Even cleaning out your email inbox and unsubscribing from lists that create daily distractions can be cathartic.

If you have great difficulty letting go of your things or find the task overwhelming, ask for help. Make the most of what the metal element has to offer by defining and refining what is import and adds value to your life. Create space for inner reflection and rebuild your sense of self-worth.

Taking in a deep breath through your nose, letting the air completely fill your lungs, holding in the healing Qi within for several seconds, then slowly release the breath through your teeth. Breathe in, thinking “let”, breath out thinking “go” releasing negativity and grief. Repeat this in series of three as many times as you need to feel good.

Our lungs like moisture. Make sure the air you are breathing is not too dry.


If you find the seasonal changes have left you feeling blue or overwhelmed and the feelings don’t go away after a few days, talk to your acupuncturist to explore how your internal balance can be re-tuned to harmonize with the external environment. Acupuncture can help you work through the “stuck” grief to help move emotional blockages, opening things up so they can be released. Renewal is achieved when we let go, and take in the gifts of the season!

Filed Under:

Get Directions

The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Xia Xin, L.Ac., CSMA


Subscribe to our newsletter and get health tips, and special offers!

Close Bitnami banner