We’ve just past the vernal, or autumn, equinox.  A time which is all about balance – balance between the dark and light, day and night, inner and outer.

But there is another curious thing that you can see unfolding at this time.  I remember the Principal of my nutrition college talking about when she was a nurse, and how she noticed that immediately after the equinoxes the doctor’s surgery would fill up with people with colds, coughs, sore throats, aches and pains, vomiting bugs etc.  She then went on to talk about the effect that the changes in season have upon each of us individually.

I’ve never forgotten what she had to say, and many years later my own observations bear out her thoughts.  There is a surge in what you might call ‘cleansing symptoms’ in the days after an equinox.

So what is going on?

At this time of year, in the Northern latitudes, the equinox signals the long slide into winter.  In Nature temperatures begin to drop, daylight shortens and usually rainfall increases, plant growth slows and eventually stops.  There is a huge energy flip within our environment that is mirrored in our bodies – we are, after all, a part of Nature, despite the advent of the electric light bulb and central heating! In fact, there is such a strong surge of energy at this point that it affects ocean tides and seasonal changes – and us!

Being 70% water it is inevitable that we will experience a movement of fluids at cellular level, as our body ‘tunes in’ to the equinox energies, utilising them for a final deep cleansing push as it begins to prepare itself for winter. It will ‘clean house’ using the various means at its disposal (coughs, mucous, fever, vomiting, diarrhea etc) to get out as many toxins as it can before winter dormancy arrives and the more successful this is the more likely it is that your health will be good for the coming 6 months.  When the Spring Equinox dawns the body will once again use this big push of outside energy to throw off the accumulate grime of winter!  And so the rhythm goes….

This righting of the balance is important preparation for the season ahead – and something our ancestors were well aware of.

If we are in tune with the seasonal rhythms we can feel energy flows in the body become slowly more sluggish, blood thickens slightly as does lymph and as Nature becomes dormant so we slow down and become more contemplative, inclined to snuggle in and begin to mentally put the old year to bed.  By the time we hit the Solstice at Christmas we are ready to start to look forwards and lay our plans for the coming year. All this was well understood by our ancestors, living closer to Nature than we do today!

So why the colds, flues, headaches, joint pains etc?  In one simple word – detoxification.  Our liver can get overwhelmed in trying to deal with the accumulated toxicity of the previous months and the body will use every means at it’s disposal to cleanse itself.  Problems accrue if every time you have a cold you reach for a decongestant or suppress your symptoms with medications.  Acute symptoms, if they are suppressed can, in the long term, become more chronic conditions, as the toxicity instead of being released, pushes deeper into the body.

Supporting your body at the times of these powerful planetary transitions will help to ensure that your health remains good for the coming season.  In fact, naturopaths generally advise working with the seasonal energies and undertaking a twice yearly cleanse at the spring and autumn equinox.  By hindering the body as it attempts to cleanse, you can potentially set yourself up for a season of low energy and health niggles.

Whilst this might seem ‘far out’ to some of you, many will find themselves instinctively nodding as they recognise what is happening at cellular levels.

To quote Barbara Wren from her book Cellular Healing, at the time of the equinoxes:

“…there is a huge surge of energy which detoxifies our cells…….Our bodies work hard to take full advantage of the high energy of the equinoxes as a means of clearing toxicity. Although the equinoxes are times of potential healing through the removal of a high level of toxicity, they are also potentially times when the body can become overwhelmed and be unable to move on in a positive direction. This could be an inability to fully resolve an acute illness, so symptoms drag on for weeks or months afterwards.”

So don’t be dismayed if you find yourself coughing and spluttering, and wanting to go to bed.  Comfort yourself with the fact that the cleaner you are at cellular levels, and the more natural vitality your body possesses, the more sensitive you will be to these equinox energies.  In fact, NOT getting ill at this time can be a sign of a body so toxic it no longer has the energy to mount an acute detoxifying episode.


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