MetalAutumn is upon us, even here in Florida. The light of the sun is changing from the heavy, rich and round feeling of late summer to the sharper, clear brightness of fall. Night comes earlier, and the air feels a little more crisp. As a nature-based medicine, Five Element Acupuncture teaches us to notice these small changes.

Some people adapt to new seasons without even realizing it. If you have been cleaning out your house in the last few weeks, throwing away things you don’t need anymore, guess what—you are right in tune with Autumn!

Just like leaves drying up and falling off of their branches, many people feel a natural inclination to let go of old and useless things around this time. We might feel the melancholy in remembering people and moments passed. But we are also creating a fresh space for the new.

Of the Five Elements, this is the essence of Metal. Lung and Large Intestine are the organs of Metal. Both are vital to our wellbeing. Our large intestines clear out stuff we no longer need, and our lungs exhale the old just before taking in a new breath of air. On the spirit level, Metal works just the same. It refines our being on all levels and connects us with what is most valuable in our lives.

Many of us enter a new phase at this time of year. Kids go back to school and businesses begin to pick up with the hum of the new season.

Here at Academy for Five Element Acupuncture, Class 32 has just started their clinical residency. Many of them have relocated to Gainesville for a year. They have said goodbye to friends, family, jobs, and their old lives as they step into their new profession. In a sense, the students are letting go of who they were to become the person they will be.

Clinic year is the moment when Academy students are first able to treat patients. With the guidance of their supervisors, they can finally put all of their learning, theory, and hard work into practice. And they begin to see how Five Element Acupuncture can transform their patients’ lives. They have the opportunity to witness patterns of illness resolving at all levels of body, mind and spirit. It’s a humbling experience.

Inevitably, the clinical residency also brings personal evolution for the students themselves. Every year, students must meet the challenges of clinic year by shedding old habits that have held them back, and recognizing the best of who they are.

In the spirit of Metal, we honor class 32 as they begin their clinical year.