By Sarah Brooks


Letting go means something different to all of us. Whether it’s the weight you have been wanting to shed, or that past relationship you can’t seem to shake. So what is holding us back from doing the things we know we should?

Many times we need more support. Family, friends and therapists can offer this to us. Sometimes we need to integrate a little more self care and self love. Acupuncture and bodywork, exercise and eating better can contribute. But when? We are all stressed for time, many of us rushing between appointments, kids, or dealing with an old injury.

Recently, I tried a personal training session. It has been a goal of mine to get into shape for a long time, and finally, after much deliberation on finding the “right” time in my schedule, I just plunged in. My trainer says you can’t change without being challenged, and isn’t this what is oftentimes holding us back in our lives? Our fear of changing or being challenged.

The fall season is an excellent time to let go and change. In nature, all around us, this is already happening. When we can use the energy of what’s naturally happening around us, we will have more success in our actions. The summer is winding down, leaves may fall from the trees, and the sap may go deep into the plants for winter.

The element associated with this season is metal in Chinese medicine. The particles and minerals in the air and the earth enrich these substances so we can breathe, and so plants can grow in the earth. The meridians or channels of energy that are associated with the metal element are the lungs and the colon. The lungs are responsible for the vital exchange of air, and the colon is responsible for letting go of the toxins, and absorbing the nutrients we need. On an emotional level, metal is responsible for our own sense of self worth. Grief is a feeling of being separated and of loss. When the metal element is blocked, we can feel resentful, mournful of past events or stuck on missed opportunities.

We can see how if these meridians become sick, we become cut off from the flow in our lives. How do you feel when you are constipated? Not great, right?

As I mentioned earlier, self care is an important piece of our daily routine to maintain being inspired, and to let go of the things that might be blocked on a mental or physical level.

Here are some suggestions from Five Element Acupuncture, which can keep us more in the flow during the autumn season.

For the body:

– Acupressure: Press on the space between the bones of the thumb and forefinger. Gently press on this gap and hold this spot if it is sensitive until it is no longer sensitive. Or maybe 1-3 minutes several times a day. This can help with a headache, constipation or grief.

– Take a brisk walk in nature, enough so you work up a light sweat.

– Incorporate a warm meal into your diet, with well-cooked green vegetables to help with elimination.

– Try taking Triphala tablets before bed.

– Sip warm water with lemon to encourage detoxification.

For the mind:

– Try writing down and answering the following personal questions about yourself for self inquiry:

– When have I trash-talked behind someone’s back?

– What old prejudices do I hold?

– When was the last time I was able to let go of an old idea, and take on a new idea?

– When have I held onto regret?

– When have I relished in the misfortune of others?

– When have I been cutting or dismissive?

– What do I need to let go of?

– What is unique about me?

Having a balance in the metal element can lead to a life filled with more beauty, majesty and brilliance. Sounds great, right?

  • Sarah Brooks is licensed in acupuncture, Zero Balancing and Equine Assisted therapies. She practices acupuncture and bodywork out of her office in Lihu‘e. She has been studying Five Element Acupuncture since 2004. Call 808-658-1918 for an appointment, or to join the Yin Yoga/Five Element workshop with Lisa from Kalaheo Yoga this fall.